CIGARETTE and alcohol price rises and a new tax on France's richest residents are among the measures unveiled by the goverment in an €11bn deficit reduction package.
Prime minister François Fillon says the new measures will target well-off individuals and big businesses - but they have angered opposition leaders and unions, who say ordinary workers will be hit as well.
Connexion newsletter readers share their thoughts below...
On the surface these austerity moves seem fair(ish) given that the country is headed for economic meltdown.
My question is, however, where are the oft-promised but never, never, applied punitive measures on the banks and other financial speculators whose greed and irresponsibility put the country -- the whole developed world -- into this sorry mess?
Could it be that our politicos are too deeply buried in the pockets of those financial institutions?
While I'm at it, can anyone explain the true reasons why France and Britain are spending billions of their Defence revenues in Libya (and/or Iraq, Afghanistan and potentially soon-to-come Syria, ad infinitum)? Can it be that such soi-disant 'Humanitarian' actions make even more money for the financiers and their glove-puppets?
Surely not. Such distractions of the populi went out with the Roman Games. Didn't they?
It has to be done. There are far too many moaners, especially, as always, the Unions and I cannot agree with the Green Party candidate. I wonder where is her vision? We all have to make our contribution. If we don't we will then all suffer. This will entail very severe suffering especially with those who have not much income. We all need to face reality and we cannot go on spending as if money grows on trees. It is time everyone woke up to that fact and we should all start living within our means! Sarkozy really has no choice in the matter and France has left it far too late in many respects.
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I find it very strange that all of a sudden most Western countries seem to be tightening the belt by launching austerity measures one after the other! People should really question this state of affairs! Are they all twin brothers and sisters? All seem to have the same problems. No country was well managed. But if you look at the history of past decades this is nothing new. In many countries this has been going on for a long time, it is them who convince us that it is a new phenomenon because otherwise we might not accept it!
I think that they couldn't care less for many years, lived the good life full of excesses and now make ordinary people make up for it. Another thing is their constant thirst for money, money and more money which is common to them all! And they won't stop at this as once they have tasted money and seen how easy it is to get it there is no chance they will stop. Let's be honest... They can get as much of it as they want unless people rebel and say enough is enough! Till then they will go on bleeding the populations dry, rich and poor. It is as if people have only come to this planet to create wealth for the governments, nothing else! Working to better yourself is in most cases not worth it anymore and then they are surprised that more and more people prefer to live on benefits, do nothing and get money for it? In the end it is a bit the lifestyle of these governments! Take people like us (frontaliers: people who live in a country and work across the border), the health insurance costs are horrendous, why should we pay even more? Moreover what they pay back is based on the social security amounts which are horribly low and mean nothing in todays' world, therefore we have to chose whether to be insured at 100%, 160%, 200%..... and as you get a bit more money what you pay every months goes up and up.
I am sure one day there will be an end to this saga, let's see how it will happen! People's patience is not unlimited! Interestingly enough we consider ourselves living in the free world... But in the end we are only free to do what they impose on us, just we are better trained than others who rebelled earlier!
The budget does not go anywhere near far enough. It is merely papering over some of the cracks.
I would have: reduced the waste in the health care system - scrap the "cure" holidays and cut down on the over-prescribing of drugs; scrapped the 35-hour week - or at least taxed the excess hours, maybe at a lower rate; down-sized many of the public service jobs-for-life; taxed tobacco and alcohol much more - and thus reduce the burden on the health services; carried through the revision to the communes, departments and regions - amalgamating many of the smaller units
Then we would reduce the burden of the state and be able to re-direct resources where they are really needed.