Pensions: legal battle over the Liot proposal to repeal the reform
You liked article 49.3 of the Constitution, you will love article 40. The pension reform…
You liked article 49.3 of the Constitution, you will love article 40. The pension reform continues to explore all the subtleties of the fundamental law of the Republic. For the past few days, the deputies of the majority and their advisers have been scratching their heads: can they nip in the bud the bill to repeal the reform of the Liot deputies and prevent its examination on June 8, on the grounds of its budgetary inadmissibility?
It is this discussion that will have to be decided in the coming days by the Macronist parliamentary groups, when it has already provoked a heated exchange of arms within the embly’s Finance Committee – it usually quiet – between its president Eric Coquerel (LFI) and the general rapporteur for the Budget, Jean-René Cazeneuve (Renaissance).
Article 40 of the Constitution is a financial barrier to the freedom of initiative of parliamentarians. It rules that “proposals and amendments made by members of Parliament are not admissible when their adoption would result in either a reduction in public resources, or the creation or aggravation of a public charge”. Clearly, any amendment or bill (PPL) that degrades the public accounts can be torpedoed.
“For me, there is no ambiguity as to the PPL of the Liot group, this would cause a reduction in state resources for 15 billion euros at the very least”, underlines Jean-René Cazeneuve.
This ertion does not really seem to convince Eric Coquerel. “I haven’t thought about it yet, but when a proposal arrives supported by Charles de Courson, a budget expert, I tend to think that there are arguments in favor of its financial admissibility. If article 40 is invoked to censor this PPL, I will seek the legal arguments so that the debate can be held, ”warns the deputy LFI.
Who can decide? This is where things get seriously complicated. In the first place, it was up to the office of the National embly to examine whether Article 40 could be invoked when the proposal was tabled. At least that’s the theory.
“A PPL that does not incur expenses is very rare. It has therefore been accepted for several years that the office should not invoke Article 40 and leave it to the deputies to do so in session”, explains Gilles Carrez, former chairman of the Finance Committee and perfect connoisseur of the workings of the budget and parliamentarians.
Quite logically, this is what the office did a few days ago. “For me, that’s a good thing. The PPL Liot clearly falls under article 40, but it has to be discussed in the meeting, ”continues Gilles Carrez.
However, this prospect is already provoking an arm wrestling match. During the office of the Finance Committee on Wednesday, Eric Coquerel and Jean-René Cazeneuve clashed to find out who had the upper hand in the matter. “It was manly but correct,” notes an observer.
The deputy Renaissance ures that article 89.4 of the regulations of the National embly gives him the right, as general rapporteur, to invoke inadmissibility under article 40, which the parliamentarian LFI refutes. “A priori Eric Coquerel is right, the spirit of the law is that only the chairman of the Finance Committee can do it”, judge Véronique Louwagie, LR deputy of the commission, just like Gilles Carrez.
It remains to be seen whether the majority groups will still want to engage in this uncertain legal battle. A Renaissance-Modem-Horizon intergroup meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to look into the subject. “For the moment, there is no will to try to activate article 40 or to resort to a form of obstruction to torpedo this PPL, the remedy would be worse than the disease”, estimates a tenor of the majority.
This debate will leave traces whatever happens. Because behind points the nascent lawsuit made by the majority to Eric Coquerel and its decisions, considered too political and not legal enough. On several occasions, she complained about the excessively lax interpretation of Article 40 by the Chairman of the Finance Committee, again recently with an amendment representing more than 10 billion euros to the PS bill on EDF .
“We are setting serious precedents. If we can open the budgetary floodgates without control or consistency with a PPL, where are we going? attacks Jean-René Cazeneuve.
These attacks leave Eric Coquerel unmoved. “On EDF, I was reinforced by Gérard Longuet (LR) and Claude Raynal (PS) in the Senate who had the same analysis”, he ures. The LFI MP has long held that Article 40 should not exist, as can be done elsewhere in Europe. “However, I only seek in my position to find a less restrictive legal interpretation. And in most cases, I go in the same direction as the case law, ”he argues.