Macron to speed up tax cuts, raise wages at historic time
Orient Net 2018-12-11 08:39:00
President Emmanuel Macron on Monday (December 10) announced wage rises for the poorest workers and tax cuts for pensioners in further concessions meant to defuse weeks of often violent protests that have challenged his authority.
In his first national address following two weekends of Franceâ€™s worst unrest for years, Macron sought to restore calm and struck a humble tone after accusations that his governing style and economic policies were fracturing the country.
But he refused to reinstate a wealth tax and to back down on his reform agenda, which he said would proceed in 2019 with overhauls of pensions, unemployment benefits and public expenditures.
His response came 48 hours after protesters fought street battles with riot police, torching cars and looting shops - the fourth weekend of protests for the so-called "yellow vest" movement which started as a revolt against high fuel costs.
In measures that are likely to cost billions to state coffers, Macron said people on the minimum wage would see their salaries rise by 100 euros a month in 2019 without extra costs to employers.
His labour minister said this would be achieved by the government topping up small salaries.
The 40-year old former investment banker was also under pressure to make amends about cutting remarks he made in the past year and a half that critics said made him look aloof and arrogant.
Based on Reuters