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Friday, June 2, 2023

What is a “pledged” text?

The hemicycle of the Assembly, May 9.

The hemicycle of the Assembly, May 9.

© Jacques Witt/SIPA

Once again, the term is related to Article 40 at the center of all attention a few days before the examination (in committee on May 31 and in session on June 8) of the repeal bill of the pension reform tabled by the Liot group. Section 40 of the Constitution stipulates that “proposals and amendments made by members of Parliament are not admissible when their adoption would result in either a reduction in public resources, or the creation or aggravation of a public charge”.

However, as written the site of the National Assembly, when the parliamentary initiative entails a “decrease in public resources” and not to “to restrict excessively” the work of elected officials ” office (from the Palais-Bourbon, Editor’s note) applies with a certain flexibility the constitutional provisions”. “As such, it admits, for example, that a charge can be offset,” is it explained. This is when we speak of a “pledged” text.

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This famous “pledge” in fact amounts to compensating for the loss of revenue generated by the bill – or by an amendment – ​​by the increase of another revenue. The latter must be “real” and the compensation must benefit the community or organization that suffers the loss of revenue. The “pledge” therefore makes it possible to override article 40 on financial inadmissibility. On the other hand, such compensation is not possible when “parliamentary initiative creates or aggravates a public charge”.

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If we take the bill to repeal the pension reform, article 3 specifies that “the burden for the social security organizations is compensated in due proportion by the increase in the excise duty on tobacco”. The subject of this “pledge” is very common. “This pledge practice is framed by the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Councileven if it now tends to be reduced to a “go-anywhere” pledge relating to tobacco duties”, noted the site of the Senate. As for article 3 of Liot’s text, he urges the convening of a “pension system financing conference before December 31, 2023”.

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