Pension reform: is the government considering 49.3?

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The pension reform will have caused a lot of ink to flow. A major topic of debate during the presidential election campaign, it is a thorny issue that the government wants to settle as soon as possible.

Indeed, the majority foresees an implementation before the summer. However, the composition of the National Assembly being what it is, the government cannot be sure of obtaining the yes majority necessary for the text to be adopted as early as January.

But he has a tool that could allow him to do without it, article 49.3 of the Constitution. In recent days, it has been brandished several times by the government of Elisabeth Borne.

Indeed, on Wednesday October 19 and Thursday October 20, it was used twice in two days on the finance bill and the Social Security financing bill. If this article could well be used again in the coming months, does the government plan to use it to pass the pension reform?

This Monday, October 24, on the parliamentary channel Public Sénat, the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt spoke on the subject. “If we are forced to have recourse to a constitutional, and therefore democratic, tool, it is in the face of a deadlock situation,” he explained. Thus, 49.3 seems, for the time being, one of the last resorts considered by the government.

But, to avoid blockage and therefore the use of article 49.3, is the government ready to compromise?

“Entering into a discussion by saying: ‘in any case, we will end with a 49.3’, does not make sense”, declared the Minister of Labor on the set of Public Senate. Thus, he confirms that the government would be ready to compromise on the subject of pension reform.

“I do everything to build convergence, consensus,” he added, ensuring that he has been leading discussions with trade unions and employers’ organizations since the beginning of October. These should last “until Christmas” with the aim of starting the “parliamentary debates” at the beginning of 2023.

But as these discussions progress, a large part of the French remain worried about this reform.

“This reform is causing a lot of concern, everyone is wondering who will be affected…” acknowledges Olivier Dussopt. However, for him, “everyone also knows that this prospect of a gradual increase in the retirement age is quite inevitable.”

“When we look at European countries with comparable economies, all have set departures at a horizon between 65 and 67 years old. There is no reason for France not to follow this trajectory”, he justified. On the side of the NUPES and the National Rally, the opposition to this reform is still as firm.