LUXEMBOURG – The deputies validated on Wednesday the law which anchors the tripartite agreement. The majority and the CSV voted in favor of the text.
“With the energy crisis, purchasing power is decreasing for low and medium wages,” launched Gilles Baum (DP), rapporteur for the tripartite law, just before his vote on Wednesday afternoon in the Chamber of Deputies. The observation is also shared by Fernand Kartheiser (ADR), although he disagrees on the text: “More and more people are encountering existential problems”. The law, which implements the March 30 agreement accepted by the social partners with the exception of the OGBL, was validated by 52 votes to 8.
“The solidarity pact must help get out of this crisis and launch the energy transition”, wants to believe Gilles Baum, referring to aid for companies encountering liquidity problems, the increase in the rent subsidy, or even the energy tax credit. “The index carryover is compensated and even overcompensated,” he insisted. CSV joined the majority in supporting the text. “We say yes to the Luxembourg model, yes to social dialogue, yes to the index,” began Gilles Roth. Before defending the “constructive approach” of his party then “a tax credit which first affects low incomes”. “There is overcompensation, which some did not want to see, despite all the explanations,” he said in the direction of opponents of the text.
“A lack of proactive policy”
“The tripartite agreement is a solidarity agreement,” added André Bauler (DP). The LSAP, historically close to the OGBL, justified its vote: “For many companies, the current crises constitute existential questions”, declared Yves Cruchten at the podium. Before launching “that with an index every three months, jobs would be threatened”. For environmentalists, Josée Lorsché spoke of “the uncertainties” which force us to react, before insisting on the measures for housing and the energy tax credit: “It is very targeted, it is a first in Luxembourg” .
On the other hand, Fernand Kartheiser criticizes the government for “a lack of proactive policy”. According to him, with the law, “certain income is not compensated, such as overtime or night work”. He advocates “a zero-rated minimum wage”. Also opposed to the text, Myriam Cecchetti (déi Lénk) appeared at the podium wearing a badge demanding the defense of the index finger. “Consumer goods are more expensive, while some big companies are posting record profits,” she said. She denounces “the neo-liberal measures” which would have inspired the text submitted to the vote. Finally, Sven Clement (Pirates) denounces “an unacceptable agreement, not at all united”, in reference to the Solidarity Pact. He fears that “if inflation persists, a series of wage indexations will be delayed”.
“The spirit of the tripartite is clear: if a new installment falls, the social partners will be reunited again,” replied Yuriko Backes (DP), Minister of Finance, on behalf of the government. She stressed the need “to bring confidence and predictability to companies” and maintained that the postponement of the index was compensated for employees, relying in this on the calculations of Statec. For his part, Franz Fayot (LSAP), Minister of the Economy, spoke of “a balanced, socially equitable solidarity pact”.