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Taxation of “rents”: what is Gabriel Attal thinking?


Ua special mission to tax “rents”. Faced with the scale of the public deficit, the government announced on Tuesday the launch of a “mission” entrusted to Jean-René Cazeneuve, budget rapporteur. Helped by representatives of other majority groups, the Renaissance MP will have to “make proposals on the taxation of annuities between now and June,” declared the Prime Minister on Tuesday April 2.

But what exactly does he mean by “annuities”? This formulation, vague to say the least, did not fail to provoke a reaction. “We do not add taxes to taxes when we hold the world record for compulsory deductions,” criticized the boss of the Republicans, Éric Ciotti, on X (ex-Twitter). But the executive still refuses to increase taxes. Bruno Le Maire did not consider it contradictory to assert, in a column published this Wednesday in The echoes, that “we will not increase taxes”, while specifying, a few paragraphs below: “with the Prime Minister, we want to fight against all rents”.

The savings of the French will not be affected

The choice of vocabulary is important as Gabriel Attal begins a real balancing act. It must, on the one hand, reassure the left wing of the majority uplifted by recent announcements on the possible reduction in the duration of compensation for the unemployed and, on the other, not taint the pro-business reputation of Emmanuel Macron by increasing taxes. Especially a few weeks before the European elections. Hence the use of the term “rents” and not “superprofits”, which has too many left-wing connotations.

Aware of these questions, the Prime Minister wanted to reassure this Wednesday during questions to the government. “We will never attack French people who work, the fruit of their savings, French people who have worked all their lives,” he assured, while specifying that “the Livret A or the savings of the French” will not be targeted. Taxation of life insurance would thus be excluded, according to information from La Dépêche du Midi. On the other hand, multiple landowners or large investors could, a priori, be concerned.

Gabriel Attal intends to remain in “the same logic” as the “contribution on the inframarginal income of energy companies and oil companies”, he indicated on Wednesday. A tax on superprofits that does not say its name? On TF1’s 8 p.m. show last week, the Prime Minister said he had two red lines regarding tax increases: “the first is not to increase taxes on the middle classes who work and who have worked all their lives. […] Second thing, I will not increase taxes for what helps finance the work of the French,” he said while recalling that he had no “dogma” on the taxation of exceptional corporate profits.

The trajectory allowing a 3% deficit to be reached in 2027 will be revealed next week as the voices of the majority are raised to demand the use of the fiscal lever. “I am not comfortable because we cannot ask people who are unemployed, looking for work, to have their duration of compensation reduced if, on the other hand, we do not have not this justice which means that we look at the taxation of those who have benefited the most from a particular situation,” declared Yaël Braun-Pivet on France Info this Tuesday. For his part, the president of MoDem, François Bayrou, called on the government to open discussions on a targeted tax increase.


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