the RN’s program on the economy has nothing to do with the Popular Front, here’s why

the RN’s program on the economy has nothing to do with the Popular Front, here’s why
the RN’s program on the economy has nothing to do with the Popular Front, here’s why
NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP Why the RN’s economic program has nothing to do with that of the Popular Front (photo taken on February 19, 2024)

NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP

Why the RN’s economic program has nothing to do with that of the Popular Front (photo taken on February 19, 2024)

POLITICS – Extreme confusion. For several months, even several years, a little music has been going around, maintained by certain political leaders, according to which the economic program of the National Rally is similar to that of the left. A refrain that gains a few additional verses with the early legislative elections.

Bruno Le Maire, for example, this Monday, June 24, brought the two visions together again “ leftists » carried by the extreme right and the New Popular Front. According to the Minister of the Economy “ the two extreme projects, this is what they have in common, they are two leftist projects, of Marxist inspiration “, he assured on -.

A process which certainly allows the Macronist camp to put its opponents in the same bag “ extreme », without dwelling on the rest, the xenophobic speeches or ideas. But who cannot resist reality. Now refined, the economic program of the National Rally, which already had little in common with that of NUPES in 2022, no longer has anything to do with that of the united left.

The reduction in VAT, the only measure “ purchasing power »

Let’s look at purchasing power, the number 1 priority for the French. The Popular Front advocates a consistent policy in this area with several flagship proposals, including the indexation of salaries and retirement pensions to inflation, the increase in the minimum wage to 1,600 euros or the control of rents.

At the National Rally, none of that. The program of the Lepéniste party underwent a serious overhaul between 2022 and 2024. No more indexation of retirement pensions, revaluation of the minimum old age or exemptions from taxes which should, among other things, allow an increase in salaries of 10%. So many measures promised by Marine Le Pen in 2022.

These proposals – such as the abolition of VAT on 100 essential products – are at best referred to a “ time of reforms » which will depend in particular on the state of France’s accounts. They are, at worst, abandoned, like the “ minimum prices » supposed to ensure a decent income for farmers, or the nationalization of highways. These two points, like others, are no longer on the program.

In fact, the only immediate measure for household purchasing power concerns the reduction in VAT on energy products (fuel, oil, gas and electricity). “ Our country is in the high range of fuel taxation », explained Jordan Bardella again this Monday while presenting his roadmap during a press conference. A not really social measure, given that it will affect all households indiscriminately, regardless of their income. And which would deprive the State of considerable revenue (around 15 billion euros per year) to finance, for example, public services.

The end of the ISF for some, a reinforcement for others

This is where the major difference between the programs of the left and the extreme right emerges. To finance its project, aimed at the working and middle classes, the New Popular Front wants to involve businesses or the wealthiest households. For example, he proposes the return of a reinforced ISF (wealth tax), an overhaul of the income tax so that people earning more than 4,000 euros per month pay more and that the bill for those earning less be reduced or, again, the establishment of a maximum inheritance for very high assets.

Which is not at all on the program of the National Rally, which has always been resistant to offensive policies in terms of wealth redistribution. In any case, nothing is proposed in this area other than a contribution from shipowners to the tune of 1.5 billion euros.

On the contrary: when the left commits to reestablishing a wealth tax by asking bosses to demonstrate “economic patriotism”, the National Rally wants to remove the less attractive system that Emmanuel Macron had put in place by removing the ‘ISF. Jordan Bardella actually promises to repeal the real estate wealth tax (i.e. a tax of 0.5% for real estate worth 1.3 million euros) to protect primary residences. A gift, in short, given to the 1% of French people affected by this.

Ciotti does not see “ no contradictions » with LR

In reality, pension reform is undoubtedly the only point which more or less brings the left closer to the National Rally on an economic and social level. And even. If the New Popular Front promises to purely and simply repeal Emmanuel Macron’s project, Jordan Bardella is not as clear.

The president of the RN ensures that he gives priority to long careers from the fall so that “ French people who started working before the age of 20 and who have completed forty years of service can retire at the age of 60. » Others are asked to wait in particular for the budgetary audit of public finances which should make it possible to identify “ margins. » Understand: nothing is certain.

For the rest, the National Rally now seems to adopt a liberal turn, close to what the classic right promises in terms of economic policy, between reductions in “charges” or tax cuts for businesses. And it is not Éric Ciotti, the new ally of Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen who will say the opposite.

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Attached, in his speech, to a certain budgetary orthodoxy, the president of the Republicans welcomed this Monday a road map “ which has nothing contradictory with what we (LR) have defended “. “ I find myself in these measures “, he pleaded, leaving the press conference, defending “ order in the streets, order in the accounts. » Not quite the triumphant Marxism denounced by Bruno Le Maire.

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