As I write, France is on strike at the call of an inter-union coalition (which rarely happens) to demonstrate against the government’s bill on pension reform.
Contrary to what the members of the presidential majority say, this reform is not a necessity to maintain our pension system or its level of compensation. It is not a project related to the increase in life expectancy or that in good health. It is a project of financiers, intended to continue the ongoing reduction of corporate taxation.
And I’m not the one saying it, it’s in the 2023 finance law, forced by a 49-3 in the Parliement (49.3 is a mechanism that allows the French prime minister, following discussions with cabinet (Conseil des ministres) to unilaterally pass any bill concerning financial or social security issues):
Social security administrations will participate in controlling expenditure, notably through pension reform, reform of unemployment insurance to promote full employment, and control of health care expenditure (the ONDAM will increase by 2.7% over 2024-2025 and 2.6% over 2026-2027). Local administrations will also be involved in this control of expenditure, with a target of reducing their operating expenditure by -0.5% in volume each year.
Thus, the continued deployment of the “France 2030” plan will stimulate the economy and support potential growth by accelerating the ecological transition, promoting investment, innovation, social and territorial cohesion and ensuring digital and industrial sovereignty.
This containment of expenses will make it possible, without compromising the objective of normalizing the public accounts, to continue the strategy of reducing taxes and social security contributions initiated under the previous mandate in order to support the purchasing power of the French and the competitiveness of French companies.
Projet de loi de finances n°273 pour 2023 , translated in English
France as a start-up: a country that exists only as much as it appeals to the eyes of investors and the wealthy, and that will do everything to ensure that their wealth, which is growing at an ever increasing rate, continues to absorb the trickling riches of our country.
So they repeat the old stories. They lie about the real state of the pension system, they remind us of the public debt “that we will have to pay back” (that’s not that simple), they accuse the strikers of wanting to paralyze the country… the usual tired tales.
Everything, as long as no one ever reminds us that all those things that are being conceptually and then concretely precariousized to the point of being privatized: education, health, logistics, public transportation, culture, security (including income when unemployed, disabled or retired)… are also legacies.
Legacies that obviously we will not pass on to our children.