‘Referendums and an end to school closures’: Macron’s plans for France leaked to media


Macron on Monday night cancelled a speech expected to outline key measures in response to months of anti-governments protests, after the blaze erupted.

Macron will address the nation but he is expected to talk mainly about the Notre-Dame fire.

However a draft copy of his planned speech was leaked to the press showing some of the changes he intends to make to improve life for French people, particularly in rural areas as well as ease the opposition to his presidency.

People on the 'yellow vest' protests have been complaining that it is impossible for ordinary people to live in France, with high taxes and a high cost of living.

Macron promised to listen to them, and has spent weeks touring the country hosting a series of 'town hall' style debates.

The measures, in the draft speech are seen as his attempt to address their grievances and halt the weeks of often violent protests that have gripped the country.

These are some of the main changes he plans to make, according to the leaked document.

Emmanuel Macron has laid out his ideas. Photo: AFP

Income tax cuts

The heavy burden of tax in France has been the number one complaint from 'yellow vests' and France does have one of the highest tax rates in the world.

Macron proposes a tax cut for the middle classes, which may not entirely defuse anger.

He intends to fund this giveaway of the middle classes by correcting 'certain tax niches'.

However he doesn't plan to reintroduce the wealth tax, one of the key demands of many yellow vest protesters. The wealth tax (ISF) which is now only levied on property riches rather than money will be evaluated however and may be changed.

End of year bonuses

Macron announced an end of year bonus for low paid workers before Christmas as part of his raft of measures to quell the violence. According to the leaked speech the president wants to make them a permanent fixture.

Pensions boost

Pensioners have also been particularly vocal, especially over fears of a raise in the pension age. Macron has already ruled out raising the pension age from its current level of 62. The leaked paper suggests reindexing pensions of less than €2,000.

"I know all the misunderstandings there have been on the subject of pensions in these two years. I regret that. I want consideration for retirees to translate into trust and clear rules. Pensions of less than €2,000 will be reindexed on inflation as of January 1," the president will say.

No more school and hospital closures by 2022

He pledged to end closure of local facilities, unless the local mayors suggest it. He was acting on the feeling in many rural communities that they are being abandoned and are slowly losing all local services.

He added that he wanted "more civil servants on the ground, with more responsibilities", "and fewer civil servants in Paris to write standards or create rules".

More referendums

Not put off by Britain's example, Macron says he is favour of holding more votes on certain local issues, as called for by 'yellow vest' protesters who said that the national government is too remote from the people and their concerns.

However, the draft speechRead More – Source

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