Pension reform: the majority is ready to do “more than concessions”, assures a LREM deputy

Pension reform: the majority is ready to do “more than concessions”, assures a LREM deputy

Célia de Lavergne, vice-president of the special committee responsible for examining the reform, assures us that the government does not intend to push through the reform in force: “I honestly think that we can go to the end of the parliamentary debates” .

The LREM deputy of Drôme and vice-president of the special commission responsible for examining the reform Célia de Lavergne, November 15, 2017 at the National Assembly.  (MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

The deputies begin Tuesday, February 18 the second day of the examination of the pension reform presented by the government. After a first evening of debates in the National Assembly on the initial text, marked by several motions of rejection, the deputy LREM of Drôme and vice-president of the special commission in charge of the examination of the reform Célia de Lavergne, assures on franceinfo that the majority is ready to do “More than concessions” to the opposition and does not wish “absolutely not” the use of article 49-3 of the Constitution. “I honestly think that we can go to the end of the parliamentary debates”, she explains.

franceinfo: Is it off to a bad start for a final vote before the summer?

Célia de Lavergne:There is absolutely nothing unusual about what we experienced yesterday. Motions to reject are generally made on each text. It is a way for the oppositions to mark their protest on the bills. However, of course, yesterday was lively because everyone made their arguments. But as we said, we are continuing to examine this text and we will go to the end to examine it and have the parliamentary debate that the French want. On the question of financing, I would remind you that the bill provides for the financing provisions of the future system. What is being worked on today with the social partners, with the financing conference, is how we put the future system on track in 2027, starting with equilibrium. We will have discussions in the parliamentary debate: what will this future system be? How is it going to work? How are we going to contribute? What benefits will we be entitled to? In addition, there are things that are still being discussed about the start from zero in 2027 and a certain number of subjects on which we are very attached, which are the rights of families, hardship, on which parliamentarians are working in parallel with the social partners.

Are you ready to make concessions on this hardship? This is what part of the opposition is demanding.

More than concessions. We are very attached to it. We are closely monitoring the work that is being done today by the government with the social partners. There are advances. We see in the initial bill already, that the hardship account is open from private to public. There were announcements last Thursday from the Prime Minister on the creation of a right to retraining. That is to say that when you have had a difficult job for ten, fifteen, twenty years, you have a long training to retrain you.

And then, the creation also of a visit at age 55 which makes it possible to define whether or not you are unable to work and possibly leave early for retirement. These are things already acquired, and there will, in my opinion, still be things to do on what is called polyexposure, that is to say, taking into account the “cocktail effect”. several risks of arduousness that you may have in your job, and things to do also by branch, probably on how we better qualify the arduousness, in particular on everything that is postures, handling, all the criteria that are said to be ergonomic.

Despite everything, 41,000 amendments are tabled in this bill. There will be no recourse to 49.3 for this bill, you guarantee that?

We absolutely do not want to. And we prepared to have a debate, even a very long one. For the moment, we are not adopting that posture at all and I honestly think that we can complete the parliamentary debates. That will take time. We are aware of this, but we want to see it through. First, because the government and the majority want to see it through. 49.3 is often a tool used by the government against its majority. Today, we are moving in the same direction. We have the mandate of the French to do so. So we will go all the way. Indeed, it may take time, but we need this debate to explore each of the subjects in particular. We have just mentioned the arduousness, but it is not possible to vote on this reform without having a debate on each of these subjects. It started, contrary to what we heard, in a special committee, where we have already been able to clear up a lot of issues, or even vote. We are certainly starting from the initial text, but enriched by the debates of the special commission. We already know that there are some 40 amendments that we are going to adopt that change the original bill. We will re-adopt them during the meeting. We also had major debates on the main themes, the famous family rights, hardship, the points system, long careers. All these subjects have already been addressed in a special committee, even if, indeed, the written text on which we are working today is indeed the initial text.