The question of the day.  Should companies that profit from inflation be taxed more?

The question of the day. Should companies that profit from inflation be taxed more?

Energy companies, TotalEnergies in particular, are in the sights of the left after posting sharply rising profits on the back of soaring oil and gas prices.

The oil giant thus saw its profit increase by 48% to nearly 5 billion euros in the first quarter of 2022.

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If we divide these 5 billion euros by the 18 million French motorists who take their car to go to work, that makes 100 € per month, not 6 cents, not 18 cents, but 100 € per month . These are therefore absolutely considerable sums which escape the citizens to serve very massively the shareholders of TotalLFI deputy François Ruffin protested on BFMTV on Tuesday.

PCF boss Fabien Roussel announced on Wednesday that he would table a bill to tax the profits of oil companies over 2021 and 2022.

At the RN, Marine Le Pen also defended such a tax, which she considers social justice.

The oil giant is not alone. Engie also recorded spectacular results in the first quarter, as did the shipowner CMA CGM, at a time when shipping costs are soaring with the recovery of world trade after the pandemic.

Some states have already taken the plunge. The very liberal United Kingdom has introduced a temporary tax of 25% on the profits of the oil giants to finance aid to the most disadvantaged households in the face of inflation.

And Italy has decided to levy an additional 25% on the profits of large companies in the energy sector.

Even the OECD had estimated as early as March that spending to support purchasing power could be partly financed by taxation of windfall gains in some countries.

In France, the government does not seem ready, systematically repeating Emmanuel Macron’s commitment not to increase taxes.

It’s not not necessarily the best solutionsaid the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire in an interview with Echoes on Wednesday.

Rather direct gestures

Government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire said on BFMTV thatno arbitration is takenadding, however, thatwe’re watching, it’s typically one of the things we’re discussing with the opposition right now.

The strategy of the executive seems rather to convince these large companies to make voluntary gestures.

There are a number of companies that have made significant profits during the crisis […] I ask them to make me proposals, and strong proposals, so that they can return part of their profits to the French directlyexplained Bruno Le Maire on Cnews.

Today I believe they can do much more. Afterwards, if they prefer not to do more, well, we will take our responsibilitieshe warned.

For the boss of Medef Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, tax hikes are not the solution. On the other hand, I understand that these companies are being asked to make an effort, particularly with regard to their priceshe said in an interview with Echoes on Monday.

At the beginning of the week, Bruno the Mayor had estimated that all the effort (against inflation) [pouvait] not rely solely on the state. He had announced that he had asked the boss of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné to extend, or even increase, the discount of 10 euro cents per liter that the group had decided to grant to motorists in its service stations.

A call partly heard by the oil group since it announced on Wednesday to raise its discount on the liter of fuel from 10 to 12 euro cents for motorists refueling this summer in one of its approximately 120 service stations on the highway. However, this discount will not apply to stations in rural areas.

In addition to the boss of TotalEnergies, Bruno Le Maire recently met the boss of CMA CGM Rodolphe Saadé, to ask him if an effort was possible on the transport of raw materials for the buildingsays one to the ministry.

The question of the day. Should companies that profit from inflation be taxed more?

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