Prime Macron, gift or burden?

18/09/2019 in "Society"

This was one of the flagship measures of the President of the Republic, during his televised speech on December 10, 2018. In the same way as the increase of 100 euros Smic, there was also the announcement of an exceptional bonus paid by companies to their employees. A bonus that would have been exempt from income tax, social security, salary and employer contributions as well as social security contributions. Several months after this announcement, it is clear that the Macron premium is a success since 5.5 million employees were able to touch it. But while there is talk of making it sustainable and making it an additional source of revenue that would be annual, there are questions. Who benefits exactly? What about the activity bonus, another important measure for the Government? Response elements.

"I would ask all employers who can pay an end-of-year bonus to their employees. And this premium will have to pay neither tax nor charge "

  It is with these words that the President of the Republic presented what would become the premium Macron , December 10 last.

A measure that would make his happy lot a few months later. Between December 10 and March 31, 5.5 million employees were able to receive a premium of 450 euros on average, granted in 408 000 establishments, which represents 20% of the private sector. It should be noted that 30% of the beneficiaries of the Macron bonus have reached the maximum allowed, ie 1,000 euros .

All in all, 2.2 billion euros in premiums were paid by companies during this period.

Proposed in response to the Yellow Vest crisis that began in the autumn of 2018, the Macron premium was aimed at those whose incomes were less than three Smic, that is to say, whose remuneration was less than 3600 euros net.

It was during the press conference of April 25th that the very positive results of the famous measure demanded by the Head of State were revealed. However, despite a clear success, which means a greater purchasing power for more than 5 million employees, there is no question for the government to fall asleep on its laurels and to stop there. Also at this press conference, Emmanuel Macron announced:

"We have done a lot, but we need to go further, with the repetition this year of the exceptional bonus without taxes and charges, decided last year as part of the incentive to companies if they decide to contribute 1000 euros Moreover "

To perpetuate the Macron premium? A possibility that some prefer to qualify.

Mistrust and skepticism

While many applaud the Macron premium initiative and the fact that it is applied every year by companies, some are a little less enthusiastic.

Representatives of trade unions but also economists, like Mathieu Plane, share their mistrust on the subject. Among the critics who come back, there is the idea that the premium Macron has passed over some important topics such as the rise of Smic or social minima.

There is also this question that predominates: who benefits from this? Are the employees really winners here? What do the tax exemption and the lack of social security contributions for the latter really mean in the long run? So many questions remain uncertain and come to provide a critical counter-point, compared to the euphoria of recent weeks around the premium Macron.

If this measure raises the debate is not really the case of the premium business, created on 1 January 2016.

Allocated to employees earning income in the vicinity of the Smic, this financial compensation always concerns more people.

In the first quarter of 2019 alone, this represents 1.3% of additional beneficiaries .

Today, 4.1 million households are beneficiaries of the activity premium with, according to Matignon, "a recourse rate that exceeds 80%" .

In other words, it means that more than 8 people out of 10 eligible have made the move to benefit. A measure that has become unavoidable and a welcome help for low income. What will be the Macron Premium? One thing is certain, she seems to be taking the same path.

Antoine Le Fur

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