Published On: Fri, Sep 14th, 2018

Emmanuel Macron’s £7billion anti-poverty plan branded ‘empty’ | World | News

With his popularity in freefall, Mr Macron,a former economy minister, desperately wants to shake off his reputation as the “president of the rich” and convince voters that his liberal, pro-business reform agenda doesn’t only benefit the wealthy minority.

Socialist leader Olivier Faure accused Mr Macron of “creating poverty”.

Mr Faure tweeted: “The #PovertyPlan is just 62 eurocents a day. Meanwhile, the rich are being gifted around 600,000 euros a year, and that’s just with the flat tax. Crumbs for some and cake for the others.”

Far-left lawmaker Alexis Corbière, one of Mr Macron’s most vocal critics, echoed the leftist’s comments.

Mr Corbière said: “Are you among the country’s 100 richest people? Macron will give you 1.5 million euros. Are you among the country’s poorest? Macron will give you 200 euros a year to help lift you out of poverty. Decadent, rich cake for some, and crumbs for the rest.”

Green party spokesman Julien Bayou branded the government’s anti-poverty plan “empty,” adding the proposed measures failed to make up for “the presents made to the rich”.

In a speech at the Museum of Mankind in Paris, Mr Macron said: “I don’t want a plan to help poor people live better poor. I want them to be given the choice, and the possibility, not to be poor anymore.”

Pierre Laurent, the Communist party’s national secretary, said the plan did not tackle the “root causes” of mass poverty.

Nationalist lawmaker Nicolas Dupont-Aignan said the measures were “not enough” to erase the “social problems” caused by Mr Macron’s pro-business policies.

Anti-poverty measures include compulsory school or vocational training until the age of 18, extra crèche places to help mothers return to work, more emergency accommodation with a priority for women and children, and breakfast at school for primary schoolchildren in poverty-stricken areas.

Mr Macron also announced plans to overhaul the social benefit system by 2020, so that one single minimum income for the poorest will replace the complex system currently in place.

Those who receive this payment will be asked to look for a job or training, he said.

An Elabe poll published ahead of Mr Macron’s speech showed 76 percent of French people think Mr Macron’s policies favour the rich over the poor.

The poll for the news channel BFM TV also showed 79 percent of respondents think the government’s anti-poverty measures will not help pull the poor out of poverty.

About 14 percent of France’s population lives below the poverty line – equivalent to nearly nine million people with a third of them children, according to the statistics agency Insee.

The Elabe poll of 1,009 people was carried out online between September 11 and September 12.

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Emmanuel Macron’s £7billion anti-poverty plan branded ‘empty’ | World | News