Participate in the big debate … at the risk of paying the price. The employers, since the beginning of the movement of "yellow vests", walk on eggs. It must be shown that it is force proposals to get out of the crisis, while remaining discreet not to cause criticism, or worse new claims that would scour the margins of companies.
It must be said that the employers were rather spared by the social anger that shakes France. No major strike has been launched. And the demands for increased purchasing power are more concentrated on the levies (taxes and duties, the State) than on the remunerations.
" Civil war "
The government has also spared entrepreneurs. Some big bosses "Thought the civil war arrived early December", according to one of them, and imagined that the SMIC would increase, the CICE disappear and that the ISF would be restored. They breathed a sigh of relief when the head of state finally asked them to pay, if they wished, an exceptional bonus exempt from all contributions to their employees and he announced a simple suspension of the decline in corporate tax for large groups.
Today, business leaders are especially afraid that reforms will stop. "The policy of the offer is over for the end of the five-year period with 'yellow vests', the rules of the game have changed "Confided a big boss a few days ago. A fear that the president of MEDEF summarizes in his own way: If we delay the reforms, we send a very bad signal. "
Restoration of the ISF
Delay or even eliminate some reforms. In the successive debates on the territory these days, the recovery of the ISF returns regularly. " It must be possible to show where non-taxed money has been invested, continues Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux. But it's complicated to measure. We can more easily say what the ISF destroyed for years. "
Beyond the ISF, many entrepreneurs, especially in SMEs, especially fear that the decline in production taxes is now only a vague promise. " State must make courageous decisions and tackle production taxes ", Insists Jean-Baptiste Danet, president of Croissance Plus. But not all bosses are so optimistic: " Macron's mistake is to have first lowered the taxation of the rich and then to raise taxes that mainly affect the middle and lower classes, such as the carbon tax. He will drag him all his mandate. And we with him "Despairs the boss of a big IT services company.
Making businesses pay for all or part of the $ 10 billion bill announced in December by Emmanuel Macron is a scenario that undermines management circles. Even if this is not the choice made so far by the head of state.
"If we make businesses pay, we will have a jacquerie of SMEs"worries an executive advisor. A risk that recognizes, in watermark, the president of the U2P, Alain Griset: "We understand very well this movement at U2P [qui défend les commerçants et les artisans, NDLR] because some of our colleagues are among the yellow vests. "
And if employers rely on state reform as a signal of the government's continued reformist will, it is likely to remain unsatisfactory. Initially, Emmanuel Macron had planned to meet mid-December the 1,200 senior executives of the public service. Alas, the movement of "yellow vests" has resulted in the cancellation of the great raout. And the Elysee is not rushing to reprogram the appointment, not expected before spring now. " A lot of things are waiting, and may vary depending on the results of the big debate ", Says a government source. On the other hand, the Public Service Reform Bill, a time threatened, was maintained, but postponed until the spring.
Marie Bellan and Renaud Honoré