The announcement of the rebate preceded that of the mega-profits, as if the first should encourage public opinion to better accept the second. As of January 23, the TotalEnergies group (ex-Total) promised a discount of 100 euros per megawatt hour on the electricity bill to very small businesses, for the second half of the year. He had already offered various discounts at the pump on fuels during 2022, for a cost estimated by the management of the energy company at “about 600 million euros”. The group has the means, judging by the net profit made in 2022, the best in its history: 20.5 billion dollars, or 19.1 billion euros.
These figures, as in 2021, will fuel the still lively debate in France on the sharing of value. Coincidence of the calendar, the deputies expressed the wish to examine, Thursday, February 9, within the framework of a socialist parliamentary niche, a bill to create “an additional contribution on the exceptional profits of large companies ».
Because, in 2022, TotalEnergies owes a large part of its record profits to an independent element of its strategy, the war in Ukraine having reinforced supply tensions. Under the results of 2022, the group will distribute 17 billion dollars to its shareholders, almost as much as its net profit: either by the payment of dividends for 10 billion dollars, or by buybacks of shares for an amount of 7 billion .
These amounts should reactivate the controversies of autumn 2022 on the group’s wage policy with regard to the approximately 15,000 employees of its “common social base” in France, excluding subsidiaries. In mid-October, the group had reached an agreement for a 7% salary increase, then increased to 7.5%. To sign it, two trade unions, the CFE-CGC and the CFDT. But not the CGT, on the initiative of mobilizations noticed in the refineries of the country. “Total must increase its salaries”insisted Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, on RTL, on the eve of the conclusion of the agreement.
The government rejects a rise in corporate tax
However, the government refuses to consider an increase in corporate tax. According to the entourage of Mr. The Mayor, this one “would penalize the activity of French companies, and therefore growth and employment”. Similarly, the executive still refuses the principle of superprofit taxation, as already presented, in September 2022, by the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes).
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