EDL Coronavirus – Mesures
In the short term, measures should focus on ensuring the effectiveness of health emergency measures, and provide temporary support to firms, in order to limit the loss of productive capital. The adoption of the Amending Budget Bill and the Emergency Act enables to release the necessary funds and establish a legal framework for the implementation of measures to respond to the epidemic crisis.
On health measures implemented in France
- The government has announced several sets of measures to slowdown the spread of the epidemic and reduce the risk of overloading health care structures. On 16 March 2020, the President announced the start of a containment system, extended until 11 May, to limit the interpersonal contacts that are the main vector of transmission of the virus.
- Financial and logistical support provided to the healthcare system has been significantly increased. Approximately €8bn will be mobilized to cover equipment orders (medicines, respirators and protective masks), the payment of daily allowances and the remuneration of care staff (in particular the increase in overtime and the introduction of exceptional bonuses).
- The reception capacity and means of the health services have been strengthened by the provision of additional resuscitation beds as well as the mobilization of the armed forces and national transport services to move the sick and build field hospitals.
On economic measures to support business
- To support companies’ liquidity, the government has implement several sets of measures to ease their tax burden as the postponement of direct taxes and social contributions and exceptional direct tax rebates. As of 21 April, 1.7 million companies benefited from the deferral of social security contributions and taxes for a total of €17bn.
- Since 25 March 2020, the government has launched a massive scheme of State-guaranteed liquidity loans to companies for an amount of €300bn. The state guarantee will cover up to 90% of the amount of the loan – for which no repayment will be requested in the first year. As of 27 April, more than €40bn of loans applications had been granted.
- The government has set up, in partnership with the regions, a solidarity fund of €7bn which will enable the payment of tax-free aid to the smallest businesses, the self-employed, micro-entrepreneurs and the liberal professions affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March 31, more than 1 million VSEs and independent workers have already solicited it.
- The government has announced a package of €110bn, i.e. nearly 5 points of GDP, to which are added €315 billion in guarantees for bank loans to companies and credit insurance.
On economic measures to support households
- On 12 March 2020, the President announced the implementation of a massively extended short time work scheme (notably to domestic workers and childcare assistants), in order to protect jobs, estimated at €24bn. It provides for full coverage by the State and Unédic of the compensation paid to employees by companies, up to a maximum of 4.5 minimum wage. As of April 27, this scheme already benefit to almost 11 million employees.
- In order to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable people, eligibility for social rights (income of active solidarity, disability allowances) will be extended during the period of containment. Unemployment insurance payments will also be maintained for all unemployed persons reaching the end of their entitlement in March.
- The amount of the exceptional purchasing power bonus may be increased up to €2,000 exempt from social security charges and taxes in order to support employees who continue to participate in the country’s economic activity.
- An exceptional solidarity aid for the most disadvantaged families and workers will be implemented to help them bear the burden of their constrained expenses. In total, more than 4 million households will benefit from this emergency aid.