(Bloomberg) -- French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said companies have until the end of the year to increase wages amid rising inflation.

After a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Le Maire urged all companies in a position to boost wages to do so, especially those benefiting from rising energy prices.

“We prefer this method which consists of encouraging companies to pass on money directly to the French to help them fight high prices rather than taxation,” Le Maire said. “But we will check at the end of the year what profitable companies gave back our citizens.” 

With the government under increasing pressure to introduce a tax on windfall profits, the comments appeared to be a thinly veiled threat to do just that.

Read More: Macron Under Pressure to Tax ‘Superprofits’ of Big Energy Firms

At a Group of Seven meeting last month, President Emmanuel Macron publicly slammed “war profiteers,” targeting “producers and speculators.”

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