It is too understatement that the CEO of insurer Axa France is angry with the government. In an interview with Parisian, published Saturday night on a newspaper’s website, Jacques de Peretti condemns “scandalous blackmail” after the Economy and Finance Minister called on the sector to freeze hoteliers and restaurateurs’ insurance premiums under the penalty of a “new tax.”
“Last Monday I had a phone call to all my European colleagues and such blackmail has never been used in any country, while the situation with insurance and restaurant owners is the same,” protested the leader. Bruno Le Maire asked on Tuesday to freeze insurance premiums for the hospitality and catering sector, otherwise the government will support a Senate amendment demanding an exceptional contribution from insurers. The amendment submitted in recent days in the Senate is intended to introduce an exceptional premium of 2% of the premiums paid under damage insurance contracts. According to the French Insurance Federation, this would mean a burden on the sector of “1.2 billion”.
Threat of increasing premiums
“This tax would be the worst thing to do when it comes to recovering the aid because we could not bear the burden ourselves and we would have to pass it on to the contributions of our policyholders who are already heavily taxed themselves,” warns Jacques de Peretti. When it comes to the freezing of bonuses for professionals in the hospitality and catering industry, “this is an area we are closely watching. (…) We are all interested in finding a solution and getting out of this conflict – he continues, emphasizing the “openness” of companies.
Since March, the insurance sector has implemented various measures to support the economy, ranging from a € 400 million contribution to a public SME support fund, to an investment program of more than one billion euros, through various initiatives taken individually by companies. In total, these individual and collective measures represent liabilities of € 3.8 billion.