Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on June 12, 2019 at the National Assembly.

Tax cuts, PMAs, Unemployment, Retirement: What to Remember from Edouard Philippe’s Speech

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The Prime Minister was speaking to the Assembly on Wednesday 12th June 2019 for his second general policy speech, which is to launch the works of Act II of the government

“For two years now we have been governing and there is always urgency,” said Edouard Philippe in the preamble of his second policy statement on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, which should begin the “Act II” of the five-year period of Emmanuel Macron.after more than seven months of crisis of the “yellow vests” and the aftermath of the European elections.

The Prime Minister was speaking at 3 pm in front of the National Assembly, before an intervention from each political group, then a response from the head of government and finally the vote of confidence, which was granted in the early evening.

The speech was to detail the main projects and specify the political calendar at least until the municipal of March 2020, before departmental and regional in 2021. “No reduction of our economic ambition, an acceleration of our environmental ambition and our social concern “This was the” triptych “set by Emmanuel Macron to his prime minister Tuesday, the day before the speech. Here’s what to remember.


The ecological ambition at the heart of “Act II”

The Prime Minister immediately emphasized the “ecological ambition” at the heart of the Five-Year Act II, making it the first theme of his speech.

“The next twelve months will be those of ecological acceleration.”

On the ecological transition, some measures may be subject to a referendum. Edouard Philippe has confirmed a new way of calculating the price of energy, with a rebalance of aid to the energy transition that “benefits for the moment the richest households.”

“We want to give the French the means to heat themselves without paying or polluting more and more.”

The Prime Minister also spoke about the anti-sabotage bill carried by Secretary of State Brune Poirson, providing in particular that “all disposable plastic products will be banned from the administration next year”, the implementation of instructions on certain packaging or the progressive ban on plastic packaging that does not consist of recycled plastic.

The government also wants “in connection with the European Union” to make Nutri-score mandatory .

Unemployment insurance reform

“Act 2 will also be that of social justice,” said Edouard Philippe. The reform of unemployment insurance will be presented Tuesday, June 18, he announced. First objective: to put an end to abuse of short contracts.


Other tracks: the allowance for the highest salaries and enhanced support for jobseekers. Simply put, the government wants “to make work pay more than inactivity”.

Tax decrease of 27 billion euros

This is one of the main announcements of this speech: a tax cut of 27 billion euros for households, including five billion euros just on income tax. “The tax rate for the first instalment of income tax (€ 9,964 to € 27,519), which includes 12 million households, will be reduced by 3 percentage points (from 14% to 11%). represents an average household gain of 350 euros. ”

“It’s massive, it’s clear, it’s clear.”

These cuts will be approved in the budget bill for next year, he said. The head of government has also confirmed that the housing tax will be “completely suppressed for all French”.

The exceptional end-of-year bonus announced by the President of the Republic in the midst of the Yellow Vest crisis last December will be renewed for one year in 2020 “with the same tax-free regime within the limit of 1000 euros per beneficiary”.

Places in crèches and alimony

“Strengthening our social model means bridging the gaps. I think of single-parent families who spoke a lot during the big debate. Everything is more difficult when you are alone, “said the Prime Minister, referring to the poverty plan.

In this context, 30,000 additional places will be opened in a nursery . In addition, the alimony will also be directly collected by the CAF and it is the CAF that will be responsible for initiating recovery procedures in the event of outstanding payments.

Regarding education, Edouard Philippe has announced the limitation to 24 pupils per class throughout the territory of classes of CP and CE1 . On the crisis of the hospital environment , he acknowledged that “the situation of these services reflects a deep evil”. The Buzyn law on health system reform will be “soon” voted.

Retirement: still at age 62, but soon an “age of equilibrium”

Regarding pensions, Edouard Philippe recalled the mission conducted by Jean-Paul Delevoye on the issue. In July, he will present a new pension system “simple: the rules will be the same for all. One euro contributed will open the same rights for all. It will ensure that people who have worked all their lives earn no less than 85% of Smic. ”

He announced the retention of the statutory age of retirement at age 62, but the new system “will set an age of equilibrium and incentives to work longer” – a proposal greeted by boos in the Hemicycle.

The PMA debated in September

The Prime Minister was expected to turn on the subject of the PMA for women couples and single women, especially on the issue of timing.

The government will authorize medically assisted procreation for all women.

The bioethics bill, which includes the PMA, will be adopted by the Council of Ministers in July and debated in the National Assembly “from the end of September” 2019.


An annual debate on immigration

Regarding the security aspect, Edouard Philippe has set as a priority to “fight drug trafficking that gangrene entire parts of our territory.” 1900 positions will be created in intelligence.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the migration issue: “The number of asylum seekers has dropped by 10% in Europe but continues to increase in France by around 22%. If we are to welcome, we must control these migratory flows. Thus, the government will organize “every year a debate in Parliament” on asylum and immigration policy “and the first will take place in September.

The Muslim cult will also be reformed and reorganized.

The Islam of France must train imams in France who speak French and put an end to the system where many imams or “changes” are paid by foreign states.

State reform: probably postponed

Causing the protest of the deputies, the Prime Minister opened the door to a postponement of the institutional reform after the senatorial elections of 2020, while his return to Parliament was expected in summer 2019. The number of parliamentarians will be reduced by a quarter and not more than a third.

In addition, 300 service houses will be created by January 1, 2020 so that every French citizen can have access to public services.

We must involve the French more in the reforms. (…) Trust we must rebuild it.

The Assembly gives its confidence

At the end of his speech, the Prime Minister made the government responsible. A few hours later, MPs voted confidence in the executive with 363 votes in favor and 163 against. 47 abstained.

That’s a decline of only seven votes compared to July 4, 2017. But the votes against, left and right almost full, have more than doubled. In 2017, there were indeed 67 votes against and a record number of 129 abstentions. This is the lowest opposition on a general policy vote since 1958.

“Cache-misère”

After him at the tribune, Virginie Duby-Muller for LR saw in this speech a “pseudo act II” of the quinquennium “a misery warmed misery.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon took advantage of the exercise to take stock of the failure of the Insoumis to the European, recognizing that the “continuation of the fight” is announced, “in very harsh conditions.” But “we will not give in,” he told the head of the government, accusing him with his policy of a “passage in force against the country.”

In the corridors, and in the absence of Marine Le Pen, Sébastien Chenu (RN) criticized “a satisfied Prime Minister” and in “total continuity of what has been done for two years.”


The ensuing vote was risk-free given the prominence of the band La République en marche, associated with the MoDem.

Republicans, in doubt after the worst score in their history (8.5%) in the European, and where the group’s position was Wednesday against confidence, discordant expressions were limited, only a fifth of MPs (22 ) having abstained.

The whole of the left – PS, LFI, PCF – voted against.

A second vote in the Senate
Rare enough – and even a first with a Senate controlled by the opposition – the statement of the Prime Minister Thursday morning (9:30) in front of senators will also be followed by a vote.


A simple mark of “respect” for the upper house, swears Matignon. But which allows knowing more precisely the balance of power for the constitutional reform, where the support of a large part of the senators LR is indispensable.

In his first general policy speech, the Prime Minister was preceded by a speech by Emmanuel Macron in front of the Congress. This time Edouard Philippe will be alone on stage, the head of state has finally given up the idea of ​​bringing parliamentarians together in Versailles this summer.

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