Emmanuel Macron wants an “exceptional contribution” from companies to “exceptional profits”

Emmanuel Macron wants an “exceptional contribution” from companies to “exceptional profits”

Easing tensions after the adoption of the pension reform thanks to article 49-3. This is what the President of the Republic wanted to do by speaking on France 2 and TF1 this Wednesday. Among the projects intended to bring calm to the country, Emmanuel Macron mentioned that of sharing value, in other words the fairer distribution of the wealth created in companies.

“You have to hear this need for justice”, launched the head of state about the “anger” of the French and in particular of those who work. “When we see companies that we have helped […], large companies that make exceptional income and use it to buy back their shares, I ask the government to work on an exceptional contribution when there are exceptional profits. »

Distribute more to employees

Emmanuel Macron refuted any plan to tax superprofits, recalling that a contribution on energy companies – decided at European level last fall – already exists. “Companies must distribute more to their employees,” he said.

A message which was taken up by the Minister of the Economy before the senators, Wednesday afternoon. “Companies which buy back shares, which have the means to do so, must distribute more profit-sharing, participation, tax-free premium”, insisted Bruno Le Maire. The tenant of Bercy mentioned a “doubling” of the sums paid under these devices in “large companies”, in other words, those of more than 5,000 employees. Clearly, only a handful of groups should be targeted if this framework is retained by the social partners.

Indeed, the ball is again in their court, even if an agreement on the sharing of the value was already concluded between unions and employers in February.

“We are going to discuss with the social partners in the coming days to see how to add this device in the bill that we plan to bring soon with the Horizons and Modem groups”, explains Louis Margueritte, Renaissance deputy, who also chairs the mission of information on the sharing of value with Eva Sas (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts), supposed to be completed in mid-April.

Share buybacks

“At Renaissance, we already had in mind to go further than the February agreement by proposing the payment of a superparticipation in the event of superprofits. The whole question was to define this last notion, ”continues the parliamentarian. “The reference to share buybacks is a good idea because it concerns companies that have cash on hand because they are making significant profits. »

The idea should not displease the unions: François Hommeril, the number one of the CFE-CGC declared that it was necessary “to prohibit the repurchases of shares”.

However, the task will not be easy. The calibration of the device and its duration – Renaissance favors a transitional mechanism – risks giving rise to debates. The unions, the Medef and the Afep (which represents the 100 largest groups) will indeed not spontaneously agree on the threshold, which could be the ratio between the amounts of shares bought back and the profits.

One thing is certain, the exercise will take more time than a simple transcription of the agreement concluded by the social partners, as was envisaged for a few days. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne herself declared on Tuesday in the National Assembly that the executive “wishes that the agreement on the sharing of value found between the social partners be quickly transcribed into the bill “. Monday, on BFMTV, Bruno Le Maire made similar comments and was delighted to be able to easily find a majority.

Tax optimization

Will the bill contain all the measures related to value sharing or will some of them enter into another legislative vehicle, such as the future bill for full employment? Nothing is decided yet.

Tax optimization and its consequences on employee participation – another essential subject for several trade unions – should require more time. The General Electric and Procter & Gamble unions were heard by the Assembly fact-finding mission last week. They demand that the Labor Code be amended to allow employees to recover their fair share when a group artificially reduces its profits in France.


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