What E. Macron re-election means for low and middle income population
For his first public outing since the results, the worst elected president of the 5th Republic was greeted with a tomato throw. He chose Cergy, a left-wing city where he won only 23.7% of the vote cast in the first round. Not everybody there was convinced by his self staging, from the long slow walk surrounded with ‘united colors’ children to his thankful appeasement speech. He pretended then to be humbled by his lackluster victory. He would listen to all French people : the ones who chose him to stop M. Le Pen and the ones who didn’t even bother to make it to the poll. Barely reelected, He was already preparing the June legislative ballot.
This vote is critical for him. He needs his party, LREM, to win a large numbers of seats at the Parliament lower house. The worst case scenario would be a cohabitation (When the prime minister named according to the parliament majority runs most domestic matters instead of the president). He already benefited from the disintegration of left-wing and right-wing traditional parties and he bets on the usually low scores of the populist far right and far left at legislative elections. But the dislike and distrust he generates is profound. Only the taboo represented by the far right running the country have allowed him to pursue a second term with only 38,5% of the registered voters choosing him.
If he succeeds at the Parliament election, one just needs to look at what he has done during his career to know what he will do. After leaving the state service as a finance inspector before his due term, he served as an investment banker. Although he defines himself as a man from the left wing, his policies had so far favored and eased the wealthiest part of the population. It did so when he replaced the tax on wealth and removed another tax aimed at taxpayers who exit their fiscal residence out of France. According to an OFCE study (an independent research institute), before the covid crisis, only the wealthiest households benefited from his policies. They had no effect on the middle classes purchasing power.
So now that France is ranked second among countries that pay the most taxes, that its debt have never been higher (116% of its GPD or 2813 billions of euros) and that the inflation is sharply rising up, he will simply act as the good banker that he is. He will align with the European Central Bank whose main goal is to stop inflation and who will soon raise interest rates. And he will do so at the expense of low income earners. Now that the richer are safer, he will implement a ‘ticketing’ and ‘rationing’ system for the poorer. It will enable popular and low and middle income population to survive, to avoid the collapse at best. They will hardly tank up their car and fill up the fridge but the comfort stops here. For households whishing to access real estate for example, the loan rate and the personal contribution sharp increase will prevent it. Banks are even taking into account the monthly gas consumption in their calculus.
Instead of alleviating the people burden, he designed a massive state investment plan aimed at some selected industrial sectors. This new dirigisme will likely benefit a few ones : some bosses and a handful of high skilled job it will probably create. The majority of the people have never been a priority or even a concern for the worst elected president of the 5th republic. If he win the upcoming poll, he will just go on hiding beneath his speeches and a well established communication strategy.