The National Assembly will vote solemnly on Tuesday at first reading draft social security financing bill for 2018. A text whose main lines stand without scratch of parliamentary debate.
Debates at times very tense, a few slamming of doors – when the employer’s contribution on the free shares was lowered to 20% instead of 30%, by amendment of the majority – but no big surprise. The draft Social Security financing bill for 2018 – the first social budget for ministers Agnès Buzyn and Gérald Darmanin – is to be formally adopted on Tuesday by the National Assembly in a solemn vote after the parliamentary debate of the last week. A text that embodies some of the iconic reforms of the beginning of the five-year Macron.
Main novelty, the CSG-contributions. The goal is to reduce the reliance of Social Security funding on assets, in order to value the work. This goes through a 1.7 point increase in the CSG, which also weighs on retirees. It will be more than compensated for the assets by a reduction of employee contributions, with 7 billion euros of purchasing power gain. The 8 million pensioners of the general scheme whose reference tax income (RFR) exceeds 14.404 euros per year will be losers. But the decline of a third of the housing tax for 80% of French will mean on average a saving of 445 euros between 14,500 and 17,500 euros of RFR.
The CIE competitiveness and employment tax credit will be transformed into a permanent decrease in expenses starting in 2019, after having lowered the amount from 7% to 6% in 2018. That is 24.8 billion less employer contributions in 2019. The charges will be reduced to almost nothing at the level of the Smic. Compared to the current situation, the exemptions will be more pronounced up to 1.4 Smic.
Finished, the social system of the independents. Artisans, tradesmen, liberal professions, will be transferred to the general regime in two years. This complex article has been the subject of about 60 amendments from the government or the rapporteur to clarify, correct, patch up. By the way, the main pension fund for the professions (CIPAV) will drain a very large part of its membership of contributors to the benefit of the general scheme.
Tobacco and sugary drinks
The price of the pack of cigarettes will increase by 20% as of March 2018, to 8.10 euros against 6.80 euros today, within the framework of an inflation plan of 3 euros spread over three years. Other tobacco products will also see their price jump, even stronger for cigars, cigarillos and rolling tobacco (25%). Members of the majority but also left and right have added a recast of the tax on sweetened beverages, which is not expected to yield new revenue. The new version will tax more the sweetest drinks and will reduce the taxation of flavored water. The amendments were adopted almost unanimously.
The number of compulsory vaccinations for children under the age of two will be increased from 3 to 11 in order to combat the increasing refusal of vaccination. There will be no penalty for recalcitrant parents, but no exceptions either. Children who have not been vaccinated will not be able to go to school or nursery.
The general third-party payment will not finally take place on November 30, contrary to what was stipulated by the Health Act of 2015. A government amendment removes the obligation to waive fees in all medical practices and for all patients this year – but maintains the obligation for poor patients, maternity, long-term illnesses. The goal of generalization is not abandoned, but a new calendar will have to be worked out.
Lone-parent families will have their child care supplement adjusted by 30%, as is the increase for adults with disabilities. The measure concerns 83,000 single parents and is expected to cost 40 million per year. On the other hand, 68,500 families will lose the right to the basic allowance of the early childhood benefit (Paje), and all the remaining recipients (1.7 million) will see a decrease of 7.50 euros or 15 euros per month their monthly allowance. This measure, which will only apply to unborn children, will have an increasing yield of 540 million euros in 2021.
The minimum old age will be revalued 100 euros in three times, including 30 euros in April, to reach 800 euros. According to the government, 46,000 new beneficiaries should be eligible, adding to the 550,300 current recipients, at a cost of 525 million euros over three years. In 2018, there will be no revaluation of pensions since the date of revaluation will be postponed by three months, to January 2019.