The president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, on Thursday raised proposals aimed at giving a “boost” to the request to restore confidence: eco-voucher, holiday vouchers matched by the State, exemption from taxes for intergenerational donations within the family.


“Keynes shot in the back of the neck!” “ This tweet was written by Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux on January 14, 2014, when François Hollande announced the launch of the responsibility pact and confirmed his shift towards a policy of supply. Now boss of Medef, the entrepreneur does not always feel Keynesian but says he believes in “Pragmatism”. However, it seems that today this pragmatism closely resembles the precepts of the British economist of the first half of the 20th century. A good part of the measures proposed by the employers aims to support demand. Nothing to be ashamed of in that since many economists and almost all developed countries follow such an economic policy.

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This Thursday, by presenting the proposals of his organization to relaunch the activity, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux recognized that “Trust will be key”. The boss of the bosses fears the “Everyone’s expectation phenomenon”, consumers and business leaders. With the “Very high risk that we will remain in this situation of a 20% drop in activity for several months”. And there are not, according to the Medef, 36 ways to prevent this potential economic depression: it is first “By supporting household consumption and making money circulate better”.

Surprising proposals

Admittedly, the Medef does not forget to put forward pro-business measures such as the reduction in numerous levies, but it does some others, more surprising, in the mouth of its manager. Like the eco-check, for example, which would be paid by the State to households, under conditions of means, in order to buy organic food, to invest in thermal insulation, etc. Or like the allocation of holiday vouchers, meal vouchers, matched by the State. Medef also mentions the possibility of exempting intergenerational family donations from taxes since young people will be the big losers in this crisis.

« The choice that has been made, to accept an increase in the public debt, is the right one ”, according to Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux who declares himself against any increase in taxes on companies or households. “Not relaunching would lead to a durably contracted GDP, to the loss of the tax base, to unemployment and to the induced social costs, it would in total be more costly for the community”, he admits. With a credo displayed: “The only way to reduce debt is to recreate wealth, that is to say to grow “. To get there, he also calls “To temporarily suspend the Maastricht rules and to continue refinancing by central banks”.

But the government will face a difficulty. The return of confidence cannot be decreed. In 2019, the household savings rate reached 14.7% of their disposable income against 14.2% the previous year. Some of the 12 billion euros paid to the French thanks to the measures of the government post “yellow vests” therefore ended up in bank accounts and livrets A even if they had been calibrated for low wages. The demand policy will require tact and finesse.