300 euros more per month: MPs embarrassed by their increase

The National Assembly announced an increase of €300 for advances of deputies' mandate fees which already exceed €5,600.

300 euros more per month: MPs embarrassed by their increase

The National Assembly announced an increase of €300 for advances of deputies' mandate fees which already exceed €5,600. A decision that goes badly in the midst of a purchasing power crisis and which makes elected officials uncomfortable.

300 euros more allocated to the expenses of the deputies. The Office of the National Assembly decided on Wednesday January 24 to increase the advance of mandate fees (AFM) of deputies, increasing them from 5,645 euros to 5,950 euros per month. This significant increase of 5.4% was voted on and approved by all the political groups present, apart from La France insoumise which abstained during the vote.

But the announcement of this increase for mandate fees - and not the remuneration of deputies - came at a bad time as the purchasing power of the French continued to decline in 2023, under the effect of the 4, 9% inflation, and that a major movement is underway in the agricultural sector. The announcement was even considered “shocking” by MP François Ruffin. "300 euros more for deputies? That's the monthly income of a third of farmers" said the rebellious elected official from the Somme on the BFMTV set this Thursday, January 25. And the deputy did not stop there: while the National Assembly justified this increase in relation to inflation, he recalled that the same Assembly had “refuse[ed] the indexation of salaries to inflation ".

The increase in the advance of mandate fees having difficulty passing, deputies of the different political forces dissociate themselves from the decision taken by the National Assembly. François Ruffin, whose rebellious group abstained from voting for or against the increase, believes that the latter is "not normal" while "we are going to double medical deductibles" or "increase electricity by 10 %". “If we have to tighten our belts, it must start with the leaders” added the MP. On the socialist side, we denounce a measure taken behind their backs in the absence of MP Valérie Rabault at the Bureau meeting. The elected official, for her part, indicated that X had warned “that it was not a good signal” sent. The Renaissance MP for Ain, Olga Givernet, justified the increase before saying she was ready to give it up on the BFMTV set, this Thursday, January 25.

While they had approved the increase at the time of the vote, the elected representatives of the National Rally and more particularly the vice-presidents of the group in the National Assembly, Hélène Laporte and Sébastien Chenu, asked Yaël Braun-Pivet to "postpone sine die” the application of the measure which “rightly arouses a certain emotion among our compatriots”. Marine Le Pen herself expressed herself on this subject, deeming it “inappropriate to make this decision at a time when the French are plunged into a terrible purchasing power crisis”.

The announcement of the increase in AFM in a context of crisis in the agricultural world and inflation is shocking. And while some deputies seem embarrassed by the decision of the National Assembly, the president of the lower house Yaël Braun-Pivet recalls that “this is not an increase in remuneration”. “We have increased the ceiling of the envelope allocated to us for costs, it is not money that belongs to us” she insisted. An explanation to which the office of the Assembly also returned: the advance of the mandate costs "is not a remuneration of the deputies: it is an allocation allowing them to pay for their parliamentary permanence, their travel, their accommodation and documentation costs. And its increase “aims to respond to the rise in prices faced by MPs in the exercise of their mandate.

Expenditures made within the framework of AFM have been controlled since 2018 and sums not used by deputies must be returned to the treasury of the National Assembly. But these advances, which are therefore added to the monthly remuneration of more than €7,000 for deputies, remain well above the average income of a French person estimated at €2,520 net in 2021 according to INSEE.