French gov't discusses draft bill to implement emergency social measures

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/12/20 1:08:23

French ministers of health and labor presented at a government meeting on Wednesday a draft law "on economic and social emergency plan" that President Emmanuel Macron had unveiled a week ago to defuse public discontent over soaring living costs.

"For 18 months, the government has embarked on a profound transformation of our economic and social model... This transformation has an objective: to build a new society that allows everyone to live with dignity from this work," said health minister Agnes Buzyn and labor minister Muriel Penicaud in a statement released by the French presidency.

However, they added, "it is necessary to accelerate further in order to respond more quickly to the feeling of legitimate anger, coupled with a sense of unfairness."

With the aim, a four-article law was presented to implement to set on the ground "quick and concrete answers to those who need the most."

According to the draft bill, employees who are paid up to 3,600 euros per month would enjoy an "exceptional bonus" worth 1,000 euros (1.142 US dollars) that must be paid before March 31, 2019 and which would not be subject to tax.

In addition, it offered tax-free status of overtime hour, with "the measure will result in an annual gain in purchasing power of approximately 500 euros ...for an employee paid 1,500 euros net and realizing a number of overtime equals the observed average," the statement added.

Pensioners earning less than 2,000 euros per month would see this year's increase in social security taxes scrapped after Macron reconsidered a plan of 1.7-percent rise in the CGS social charge, a levy deducted from salaries and pensions that goes towards paying for France's social security system, according to the bill.

A week ago, Macron, struggling to shake off the tag of "the president of the rich" offered an increase in minimum wages and tax breaks in a bid to abate the anger of thousands of people who opposed his economic policy and end wave of street protests that had put the country's economy in tatters. (1 euro=1.142 US dollars)

Posted in: EUROPE

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