Retirees march in protest over social charges rise

Demonstrations planned in Nancy, Caen, Paris, Angers and Montpellier on extra 1.7% in CSG, which pensioners say is leaving many on breadline

Pensioners in towns and cities across France were due to take to the streets in their thousands on Thursday to protest against an increase in social charges that they claim is leaving many on the breadline.

Demonstrations have been planned in Nancy, Caen, Paris, Angers and Montpellier, as retirees respond to calls from nine unions, including the CGT, FO, CFTC and Solidaires

Pensioners were the main losers of President Emmanuel Macron's first budget mainly due to the 1.7% hike in the contribution sociale généralisée (CSG) social charge - which is deducted from salaries and pensions to cover the costs of France's social security system.

Since the hike, many pensioners have found themselves paying an extra €25 a month in contributions. Only those with an income of less than €1,289 are exempt from the increase in charges.

While the higher CSG rate has affected all earnings, cuts in other social contributions meant that most workers have seen their salaries increase slightly - but pensioners were excluded from those cuts that offset the CSG increase.

Jean-Claude Mailly head of the leftist Force Ouvrière union said: "When you touch around €1,200 euros per month, the loss of €25 is a lot. It's normal that they are angry."

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