Sarko vs. Sego: what do they stand for?

19th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 18, 2007 (AFP) - Here are the key policy pledges made by the two frontrunners for France's April-May presidential election: the Socialist Party's Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy of the governing right-wing Union for a Popular Majority. SEGOLENE ROYAL EMPLOYMENT

PARIS, Feb 18, 2007 (AFP) - Here are the key policy pledges made by the two frontrunners for France's April-May presidential election: the Socialist Party's Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy of the governing right-wing Union for a Popular Majority.
   
 SEGOLENE ROYAL
   

EMPLOYMENT

  • Raise minimum wage to 1,500 euros (1,900 dollars) per month
  • "Consolidate" 35-hour working week
  • Open-ended, highly-protected job contract to become the norm
  • Unemployed to receive 90 percent of the last salary for first year, plus free training
  • Create 500,000 state-backed "stepping stone" jobs for youths, seniors and the long-term unemployed
  • Make trade unions more representative

TAX

  • No increase in overall taxation
  • Cancel recent tax breaks for highest earners
  • Tax companies that pay share dividends instead of investing profits

RESEARCH, HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Ten-percent annual increase in public research budget
  • Raise spending per university student to OECD average

YOUTH

  • State to provide interest-free 10,000-euro loan to all 18-year-olds
  • Means-tested living allowance for under-25-year-olds
  • Creation of six-month civic service
  • Free extra coaching for schoolchildren
  • Free health check-ups for 16-25 year olds
     

PENSIONS

  • Five-percent boost to basic state pension

FAMILY AND HOUSING

  • Lift number of social housing units built annually from 75,000 to 120,000
  • Force towns to meet their social housing quota
  • Help social housing tenants buy their apartment after 15 years
       

LAW AND ORDER

  • Double justice ministry budget
  • Create new neighbourhood police units
  • Military-style camps for young offenders, but no prison
       

IMMIGRATION

  • Selective amnesty for illegal immigrants
  • New multiple-entry visa for migrant workers
       
       

NICOLAS SARKOZY
   

EMPLOYMENT

  •  Scrap payroll tax on overtime
  • Open-ended job contract, with progressive labour protection, to become the norm
  • People who refuse work could lose unemployment benefits
  • Limit workers' right to strike
  • Replace only one in two retiring civil servants 

TAX 

  •  Reduce overall taxation by four percentage points. Warned may take longer than five years
  • Lower maximum limit on income tax to 50 percent

RESEARCH, HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Forty-percent boost to research spending
  • Fifty-percent boost to higher education spending   

YOUTH

  • Job-seeking allowance, or interest free loan to cover training costs
  • Creation of six-month civic service
  • Extra tuition for students in poor suburbs  

PENSIONS

  • Align public sector pensions on the private sector
  • Allow workers to retire after age 60, and keep part-time job  

FAMILY AND HOUSING

  • Inheritance tax scrapped for 95 percent of taxpayers
  • Mortage interest payments made tax deductible
  • Child benefit from the first child   

LAW AND ORDER

  • Tougher sentences -- including possibly jail -- for young offenders   

IMMIGRATION

  • Select immigrants based on their skills
  • Discretionary amnesty for some illegal immigrants


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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