Sunday morning, in the JDD, appeared an interview with the Minister of Territorial Cohesion Jacqueline Gourault. She indicates that she is in favor of “everyone paying income tax.” Including the most modest, even one euro. It is true that this symbolic measure to “give back to everyone the meaning of the citizen act that is the tax”, is a plebiscite in the meetings and in the online contributions of the Great debate. LREM deputy Bénédicte Peyrol, head of the group at the Finance Committee, had already spoken in favor of this measure at the end of December. Alas, Sunday evening, end of non-reception coming from the Prime Minister: “The trail of a universal income tax is not being studied. “
This regular reframing is surprising in terms of form, if we consider that all the interviews of ministers are reread by Matignon before publication. But less surprising, on the merits, so much, on closer inspection, this measure would be politically explosive. Because while it is true that only 43% of French people pay income tax, over-concentrated on the middle classes, more than 80% of French people pay the CSG, which is in fact another income tax. The CSG hits income from the first euro earned (so even a half-time Smicard). Only social minimum benefit recipients (RSA, disabled allowance, minimum old age, etc.) and the unemployed and ultra-modest retirees receiving less 930 euros per month are exempt. By this yardstick, it would therefore be a “special poor” tax, which, in addition, risks costing the tax administration more than what it would bring back since, according to Bercy calculations, below 61 euros per year the cost of recovery becomes higher than the yield!