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Hollande says 'Responsibility Pact' must deliver 'verifiable' job increases from business

Job Centre, Marseille
Job Centre, Marseille REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files

François Hollande told business leaders at a reception on Tuesday that he expected them to create jobs among the young and the over 50s, as part of his “Responsibility Pact”, first outlined on New Year’s Eve.

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“There is no time to lose”, he declared, “France cannot wait and neither can the unemployed.”

Hollande announced last week that employers in France would no longer have to pay social security contributions for their staff, thereby reducing the cost to them of hiring employees.

In return, the French president said he wanted bosses to hire more people.

Trade unions have criticised the pact, suggesting it amounts to a “gift to businesses” with nothing concrete demanded in return.

Today Hollande said employers must reciprocate the gesture in a way which is “clear, precise, measureable and therefore verifiable.”

Hollande also asked bosses to undertake to locate their businesses, as far as possible, in France.

However, many who run small businesses have pointed out that jobs cannot be “decreed” as part of a deal. They say if sales improve, it will be possible to create more jobs.

On 27 January, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is to begin negotiations between bosses and trade unions on the details of the “Responsibility Pact”.

Hollande then promises a thorough overview of business taxes, which he said will be based on three objectives: stability, efficiency and clarity.

The state will deal with the drop in revenue resulting from the “Responsibility Pact” and any other tax cuts by cutting public services, said Hollande.

The developments are part of a package of measures which have led many observers to comment that the French President has tacked sharply to the political centre-right, to the concern of those on the left of his Socialist-led coalition government.

 

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