Welfare Spending in France Takes a Hit as Macron Tries to Balance the Budget

Adjusting to pro-business former banker-turned-president Emmanuel Macron has been a complicated transition for France, a country known for its extreme devotion to social spending.

In a not too surprising turn, Macron has taken a step further away from traditional French political values this week. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe laid out the rough news: France’s estimated GDP growth has decreased from 1.9% to 1.7%, forcing the French government to revise its budget for the coming year. This means that while some minor efforts have been made to increase pay and lower taxes for union workers, low-income seniors, and others in the workforce, non-employment related benefits like housing assistance will only be increased by .3%. Economists judge that this is not nearly enough to keep up with an estimated inflation of 1.5%.

France’s big business boom seems to be off to a rocky start, with Macron’s approval ratings dipping by the day. With both unions and conglomerates hounding him for improvements, let’s hope he can figure out a solution that will please at least one, if not both.