According to the Insee, more than two million employees in the private sector have perceived the exceptional bonus that the president of the Republic has called of his wishes at the end of 2018, in response to the movement of the yellow vests. The “premium Macron’ is intended for employees whose remuneration does not exceed three times the Minimum wage (about 3600 euro net), it is exempt from income tax and all social security contributions. The average amount paid by companies has been of 449 euros, but 200 000 people were affected in its entirety (1000 euros).

“Bonus boss”

According to information that has leaked on the speech of exit from the crisis as the head of State was to pronounce the 15 April, it would be a question of sustainability. Good news for employers, who pushed in this direction. “More than 40% of the companies have paid, including small and medium-sized enterprises. We want to perpetuate in the form of a share of the regular each year,” proposed by Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux on 19 march, on RTL, calling even the name “bonus boss”.

“We are 100% supportive of the prime Macron, confirmed a little later by Jean-Eudes du Mesnil, secretary-general of the Confederation of small and medium-sized companies (CPME). Has two conditions : that the scheme remains chosen freely by the companies and that it is not subject to a trading obligation, with an agreement to the key. And most importantly, that this premium remains défiscalisée and net charge.”

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The premium represents a net increase in the purchasing power, but transform it into a permanent device does not completely trade union organisations. “We are not wind standing against this measure, it would not be reasonable, concedes Laurent Escure, general secretary of the national Union of autonomous trade unions (Unsa). But you can’t see this award as a great concession made to the employees. It shall not exempt the enterprises from their responsibilities, especially when they have positive results. We prefer discussions in the framework of NAO [the mandatory annual negotiations, ed].”

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not surprisingly, Céline Verzeletti, confederal secretary of the CGT, is even more critical. “This is an optional premium and désocialisée for businesses that masks other issues, more important as the increase in the Minimum wage, social minima and the index point of the public service on which Emmanuel Macron would have been able to act,” she says.

the effect of the windfall ?

To Mathieu Plane also, to perpetuate the premium Macron would be a “false good idea”. But for other reasons. “The scheme has helped to boost the purchasing power of people who earn relatively modest, at a specific time,” admits the deputy director of the French economic Observatory (OFCE). But in the long term, it would pose two problems : “The tax exemption would deprive the State of revenues and the absence of social security contributions would prevent such employees from contributing to their pensions.”

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enterprises could also take advantage of the windfall. “This award is part of a global envelope : how to imagine that any salary increases planned for this year will not be reduced by such amounts already allocated to them ?” he asked.