Summing up a presidential candidate’s platform is no easy task, and inevitably means condensing it. With just a few weeks left before the first round of the French presidential elections, in which all eleven candidates will face off, Fleet Street has undertaken that task. While the candidates have not devoted an entire chapter to the question of road transport, all of them at least mention it in passing, usually linking it to the issues of energy and climate change.
We have therefore broken down their platforms into two parts: the first, of a very general nature, charts the candidates’ approach to business. It will necessarily have an impact on road transport businesses, even if they are not specifically targeted. The second part takes a closer look at their positions which will directly impact the sector. The platforms are listed in alphabetical order by the candidates’ surnames.
Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière)
Business: This far-left party wants to ban redundancies and raise all salaries by €300. It also wishes to outlaw salaries of less than €1,800 net, to index salaries, pensions and allowances to the cost of living, and to reduce working hours with no impact on pay.
Transport: In Arthaud’s opinion, today’s ecological problems demonstrate the urgency of removing the control of industry and transport from private companies. She also opposes the eco-tax, arguing that it is unfair because, while it also affects large transport companies that have the means to pass it on to consumers, it mainly hits the self-employed, those in transport like many others who make a living from their work and who use their trucks to earn their living and not to make a profit. She proposes that large transport companies should pay it out of their profits.
François Asselineau (Union Populaire Républicaine)
Business: The UPR has not yet published its official platform for 2017. If we go back to its 2012 platform, it wants to leave the EU and the euro, reduce employee social contributions, increase employee share ownership, raise the net monthly minimum wage to €1,300 and limit fixed-term contracts to two years, and ban Sunday work almost everywhere.
Transport: Asselineau asserts that he wants to favour local markets to make savings on transport costs. However, on the subject of transport itself, he refuses to take a position: “whether it’s taxation, employment, transport, urban areas, sports, social topics, tourism, etc., they’re all government matters and decisions will emerge from the legislative elections”, he explains.
Jacques Cheminade (Solidarité et progrès)
Business: The oldest candidate in the running, who ran for president for the first time on 1995, wants to raise the gross minimum wage to €1,700, in three successive increases. He also wants to stimulate production in France and so import less, which would have an impact on cross-border transport companies.
Transport: Cheminade wishes to review intermodal transport, abolish the directive on posted workers and renationalise tolls.
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout la France)
Business: Dupont-Aignan wants to create a “competitive shock” by reducing payroll taxes on companies that invest in France, while re-establishing the overtime tax-exemption. He intends to favour small businesses and in particular to give them preference for public contracts, as well as banning posted workers.
Transport: “NDA” wants to replace the 10 million most energy-consuming vehicles within 10 years by means of a bonus/penalty system. He is one of the only candidates to mention the issue of telematics directly, suggesting making digital technologies available for better traffic management (analysing peak period traffic, making traffic more fluid using traffic information, managing traffic signals, etc.).
François Fillon (Les Républicains)
Business: The centre-right candidate intends to reduce charges and taxes on companies by €50 billion immediately and to introduce corporate restructuring as a legal reason for layoffs.
Transport: Fillon wants to increase the proportion of electric power in transport and so reduce that of oil, particularly by developing electric vehicle usage. He wants to continue to provide towns and cities with public transport and in so doing retain the transport contribution tax, as well as to give preference to mass freight for goods transport.
Benoît Hamon (Parti Socialiste)
Business: The winner of the PS primary election wants to fight “unbridled uberisation” and create a tax on robots, which could affect the logistics sector in particular. Hamon would tax large companies to help smaller ones and increase taxes on those that do not reinvest enough of their profits.
Transport: The PS wants to make a massive investment in sustainable transport and launch an energy efficiency and sobriety plan, with a key role for clean vehicles.
Jean Lassalle (Résistons !)
Business: The centrist candidate, who has not yet unveiled his entire programme, wants to nationalise certain large companies.
Transport: For the time being, apart from his desire to encourage renewable energies, Lassalle has not addressed the subject of transport, even in passing.
Marine Le Pen (Front National)
Business: The far-right candidate wants to leave the European Union and the euro, which will have an impact on all companies, particularly those that operate in several countries. She wants to increase import duties, make people buy French, lower charges on SMEs and allow companies to have their employees work more than 35 hours.
Transport: Le Pen intends to put an end to posted workers, renationalise French motorways and prevent the uberisation of the sector, particularly for last mile logistics. She also wishes to reduce road freight’s proportion of goods transport.
Emmanuel Macron (En Marche)
Business: The former French Minister of the Economy wants to make it easier to recruit unqualified employees by achieving zero overall social contributions for those on the minimum wage and re-establishing social contribution exemptions on overtime. He intends to create a bonus/penalty system for companies that abuse short fixed-term contracts.
Transport: Macron’s aim is to fight road congestion and invest accordingly. He wants to accelerate the digital transformation of roads to increase traffic flow and the reliability of existing infrastructures. He wants to undertake the transition to cleaner and less energy-consuming transport and bring the taxation on diesel into line with that on petro, with a long-term ambition of the end of thermal vehicle manufacturing by 2040.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise)
Business: The far-left candidate calls for free-trade agreements to be rejected and for Europe to be rebuilt on ecological, social and democratic bases. He wants to establish special conditions for VSEs and SMEs and nationalise transport and motorways.
Transport: Mélenchon makes no secret of the fact that he wants to penalise long-distance transport, particularly road transport, and relocate production closer to consumers. He intends to introduce a carbon contribution tax on goods transport and to establish a mileage tax on France’s borders to incorporate the ecological cost of products, based on the distance travelled by imported products.
Philippe Poutou (Nouveau parti anticapitaliste)
Business: The far-left candidate wants to do away with the capitalist system, ban redundancies, offer retirement at age 60, increase the minimum wage to €1,700 and reduce the working week to 32 hours. He also intends to authorise all posted workers to work in any country of the European Union.
Transport: Himself a factory worker in the automotive sector at Ford, near Bordeaux, Poutou wants to reduce the production of goods that are not in line with needs, relocate production to stop the toing and froing of goods around the world, and give priority to rail and river transport.