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Smic goes up €21.50 per month

The government has met another Hollande election promise, but unions say they are disappointed with the size of the rise

THE minimum wage (“Smic”) goes up 2% from July 1 – an extra €21.50 (after social charges) per month.

That takes the Smic to €1,425.67 a month (before employees’ social charges) for a 35-hour week, and includes 1.4% for inflation and a “boost” of 0.6%

Work Minister Michel Sapin said it came as a change from the policies of the previous government, which limited itself to automatic increases – as a mimimum the Smic is increased annually by half of the overall increase in workers' purchasing power or in line with inflation.

It was the largest “boost” since 1997, Mr Sapin said. “It is substantial for those concerned, without destabilising the economic fabric of our country.”

It also comes six months before the next routine revaluation, due in January – giving those paid the Smic six months of extra pay to help with cashflow, the minister said. However when January comes, any raise for inflation will be based only on changes since July.

He said the rise chosen represented a balance between the “legitimate hopes of citizens on the lowest salaries to see their purchasing power progress” and what is “reasonable.... considering the difficult economic situation”.

A rise in the Smic was one of President Hollande’s election promises.

Employers’ bodies have argued that the time is wrong for any “boost”, however unions have criticised the level of the rise.

“There is an overall feeling of disappointment about the decision. We are very dissatisfied,” said CGT leader Bernard Thibault.

The rise comes as national statistics body Insee says individual purchasing power in France is expected to drop 1.2% this year, the most since 1984.

© Frédéric Massard -

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