France may sell real estate to cut deficit, review seniors’ unemployment benefits, says minister

France may sell real estate to cut deficit, review seniors’ unemployment benefits, says minister
France may sell real estate to cut deficit, review seniors’ unemployment benefits, says minister

Hello and welcome to the details of France may sell real estate to cut deficit, review seniors’ unemployment benefits, says minister and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Budget Minister Thomas Cazenave told La Tribune that the government wants to reduce the amount of office space occupied by the administration by 25 per cent. — Reuters pic

PARIS, Nov 19 — France wants to reduce government spending on office space and may consider real estate sales in a bid to reduce the state deficit, the budget and finance ministers said in a media interview today.

The government also plans to review unemployment benefits for seniors, they said.

Budget Minister Thomas Cazenave told La Tribune that the government wants to reduce the amount of office space occupied by the administration by 25 per cent.

“There is real leverage for savings there, in particular given the new ways of working,” he said, referring to the increase in home working following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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He said the ratio of office space area per civil servant is 24 square metres, far above private industry standards, and the government wants to reduce that to 16 square metres.

“We may also consider real estate sales,” he added.

Asked about whether the government could achieve its target of reducing the unemployment rate from 7 per cent to 5 per cent by 2027, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said this would require reviewing social policies, notably unemployment benefits.

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“We have worked hard to move from 9 per cent to 7 per cent, but to move to 5 per cent, courageous choices need to be made... All the schemes that feed seniors’ unemployment must be reviewed,” Le Maire said.

Cazenave also confirmed that the government will seek an additional €12 billion (RM61.2 billion) of spending cuts for the 2025 budget, as discussed with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Thursday.

“We confirm spending cut targets of €16 billion for the 2024 budget, and we are already preparing €12 billion of savings for the 2025 budget,” he said, adding that the government was still aiming to reduce its deficits to 4.4 per cent of GDP in 2024 and 3.7 per cent in 2025. — Reuters

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