Many times announced, then brutally deprogrammed by the Covid to avoid an unmanageable social crisis, the new reforms of the unemployment insurance and the pension system could be put back on the job in the fall – but the agenda is uncertain to say the least .
Contrary to its reversals on the health crisis, the executive insists on its desire to reform pensions and unemployment insurance. And to make us foot the bill for ” whatever the cost “. This is already what the Minister of the Economy said in September 2020, and what Emmanuel Macron confirmed during his televised speech on July 12.
Unemployment: denial and untruths
The unemployment insurance reform will be ” fully implemented from 1 st October ,” said the head of state during his speech endorsing the date forward by the Minister of Labor two weeks earlier, about the entry into force of the new method of calculating unemployment benefits. And, on this occasion, Emmanuel Macron took up the untruth according to which job seekers would have allowances greater than their previous salaries. A specious argument built on a manipulation of figures, advanced for two years by the government to justify a reform which should reduce the monthly allowances of more than 1 million unemployed, according to the impact studies of Unédic .
Denial, the chef of the State, claiming an ” implementation ” in the 1 st October is as if both the State Council disclaimers in November 2020 and June 2021 were negligible amount. Indeed, the highest administrative authority has suspended an interim reform to enter into force on 1 st of July, whereas neither the health nor the economic situation allowed it starts. It will have to decide on the substance by the end of the year. The government will only be able to override by a new decree at the start of the school year, but this decree will be challenged again before the Council of State, which will be able to find its way with difficulty while the epidemic is not under control.
The relentlessness of the Élysée on this subject is explained by the weak mobilization of the unemployed to defend their rights, and by the desire to communicate on the pursuit of ” reforms “.
Pensions: the file is reopened
Indeed, on pensions, the executive is looking in vain for a firing window allowing it to impose one of the most unpopular reforms of the five-year term. The abandonment, because of Covid-19, of the point retirement, did not eliminate the inclinations of Emmanuel Macron to break this social protection. Against all expectations, the Head of State reopened this file on June 3, before giving free rein to speculation on the extension of the retirement age.
Admittedly, on the evening of July 12, the president postponed this reform, conditioning it to an epidemic under control and a solid economic recovery, but by hammering out the need to work longer – a way of fixing the terms of the presidential debate with a view to a worksite in the first months of a second term. Unless Macron launches himself a new delirious challenge before the election of 2022. For the moment, the first scenario holds the rope, for lack of an obvious window of fire by then.
Stéphane (UCL Montpellier)