Benefits rethink in €8bn fight on poverty in France

Broad welcome for plans but ‘they need to go further’

An anti-poverty plan to better educate the young and get more into work has been unveiled by President Macron as he seeks to ditch the ‘president of the rich’ tag and match his election claim as ‘neither left nor right’.

With nine million people – one-third of them children – living in poverty, the plan centres on a social benefits rethink to create a ‘universal activity income’ linked to work.

It also promises extra crèche places so parents can work; compulsory school or training until age 18, and free breakfasts and €1 lunch meals for primary children in poorer areas.

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