FFaced with rising inflation, Bruno Le Maire urged companies on Monday, during a meeting in Bercy, to raise wages. “Companies that can raise wages must raise wages,” the minister said at the end of this meeting. , because of the price of gasoline, he added.
“The return of inflation is a matter of concern and concern, of anguish for millions of compatriots”, underlined Bruno Le Maire, while the rise in consumer prices reached 4.8% in one year in April. Addressing the bosses, he wished “that, all together, we can give answers to this”, while rejecting “general increases, everywhere, decided by the administration” because “that’s not how it works”.
“The response to inflation must be shared equally (…) This cannot depend only on the State”, defended the minister, who was renewed on Friday in his duties in the government of Elisabeth Borne. He recalled the measures already taken in the previous five years to protect the purchasing power of families, such as the energy shield, as well as the commitments of President Emmanuel Macron that will be the subject of a bill presented to the Council of Ministers. before the legislative elections on 12 and 19 June.
Echoing this, the president of the Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (CPME), François Asselin, who had rejected any “uniform wage increase” earlier in Franceinfo, underlined the limited room for maneuver of many companies. “A company can only distribute what it earns (…). The reality principle imposes itself on her,” he said.
“We have companies that are weakened, so we have to be careful not to harm the future, which is uncertain”, added Dominique Métayer, president of the Union of Local Companies (U2P). Employer representatives also highlighted the efforts already made.
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Faced with recruitment tensions, “many companies have made individual increases” in salaries, assured François Asselin. In addition, “about 50% of VSEs/SMEs have paid their employees the Macron bonus” created at the end of 2018, tax-free and whose maximum value is expected to triple within five years, according to President Macron’s campaign promise. To encourage more companies to take risks, François Asselin suggested that the government authorize them to pay the premium in several installments, in order to circumvent any temporary cash flow difficulties.
Lower production taxes
At franceinfo, Medef vice president Patrick Martin called for “profit-sharing, bonus schemes”. They should “make it possible to find a compromise solution that satisfies everyone and doesn’t put companies in trouble over time.” To restore the purchasing power of workers, the co-president of the Movement of Medium Enterprises (METI) Frédéric Coirier told him to bet on the announced reduction of taxes on production.
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“We have to return to the (European) average to restore the margins of our companies. From the moment they have margins, they invest, they create jobs and they can increase the remuneration of the employees”, she explained. A return to the continental average that, according to him, would amount to a reduction of 35 billion euros in taxes on production. This is five times more than the 7 billion in taxes on production that the executive pledged to eliminate by abolishing the contribution on the added value of companies.
Companies are also concerned about rising costs related to factors other than wages. “We are seeing our raw material supply prices soar, energy first. And when you can’t pass on sales prices, it’s complicated”, explained the head of CPME.