French government criticizes companies for not hiring despite tax cuts

PARIS – France’s Socialist government is criticizing companies for not hiring despite major tax cuts designed to encourage job creation.

Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that a government plan dubbed a “pact of responsibility” has been a “failure.” The pact announced by President Francois Hollande in January aims to ease payroll taxes by up to 40 billion euros ($50 billion) by 2017. In exchange, companies were expected to hire.

Macron said on Radio Classique that “the Parliament has voted the tax cuts,” and asked employers to start negotiations with unions especially on hiring and investment in order to “get results.”

Business owners argue the government’s efforts don’t go far enough to reduce labour costs. Thousands of business owners protested Monday in the streets of Paris and Toulouse against taxes and regulations.