Plan de Relance: Back to Business

> Tax cuts for innovation? Money for planes and cars for for ecology? Skills that create jobs?

> Volt France's thoughts on the recovery plan

Paris, September 10th 2020

The government announced on 3 September its €100 billion "France Relance" plan to revive the French economy after the Covid-19 crisis. A large part of this budget will be financed by the European Union, where the European Commission decided, in its agreement of 21 July, to mobilise a package of 750 billion euros for the countries most affected by the pandemic.

35 billion in both competitiveness and innovation as well as in social and territorial cohesion. Volt France wishes to raise the following points:

  • 28 billion of the €35 billion Competitiveness Programme is earmarked for tax cuts for companies that made profits during Covid-19, instead of helping those that need it. Increasing profits through tax cuts will not directly increase competitiveness, innovation or employment. Nor is it a cohesion measure, because by reducing the CVAE, the budgets of municipalities, departments and regions will be further reduced after the 2017 reform of the taxe d'habitation. And by not adding any conditions in terms of sustainability, Volt France questions the validity of this measure.
  • The "green" measures include €2.6 billion for the aviation and car industries and €1.9 billion in aid for new cars after car companies have already received a €5 billion rescue package for Renault and €7 billion for Air France without having to commit to greener targets. Volt France therefore asks whether greener measures would not have been possible - such as investing in making TER trains compatible with freight in order to gain the 27% of the annual budget currently paid by passengers through freight transport in off-peak hours and offering free TER journeys.
  • 15 billion for work and training follows the logic that sufficiently strong skills will create new jobs. Volt France believes that a more balanced approach that, on the one hand, attempts to teach key skills that increase the likelihood of finding a job - including learning foreign languages - and, on the other hand, provides publicly funded employment opportunities, such as 'civic sponsorship' or paid volunteering programmes.

Volt France President Charles Evain: "We are pleased to see the government moving forward with its plan, but we had hoped that the measures would be more tailored to the needs 'on the ground' in light of the pandemic, while being correlated to the main challenges facing France rather than trying to take over business. For example, the latest "Brown-to-Green" report on the performance of G20 countries in meeting climate targets identifies not only building insulation, but also the lack of renewable energy and air pollution from road traffic as the main obstacles to the country's climate neutrality. Or the recommendations of the European Semester 2020, where France tries to mitigate the social and employment impact of the pandemic, but fails to focus its investments on the green and digital transition or on sustainable transport. We will take things for what they are for now and we will remain very attentive to the Prime Minister's promises of consultation, execution and territorial balance.

About Volt

Volt is a European movement, born after the Brexit vote, which is present in 29 countries of Europe, with political parties established in 15 countries. The countries share the same values and the aim is to create a different way of doing politics, giving everyone a voice and working across borders on a progressive project for more participatory democracy, more ecology and more solidarity between European countries. Volt France is the French chapter of Volt Europe organised as an association under the French law of 1901.

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Charlotte BARSKY, Co-lead Communication
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