France targets welfare for big spending cuts

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Associated Press

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 9:33 AM

PARIS (AP) — France's prime minister has announced plans to cut 21 billion euros ($29 billion) from pensions, social care and health care as a part of a 50-billion-euro effort to rein in the country's debt and deficit.

Manuel Valls on Wednesday detailed the government plan to cut 10 billion euros from health care and 11 billion euros from pensions and social care by 2017, though he vowed to maintain the benefits for those with the lowest incomes.

The central government will have its spending cut by 18 billion euros, while local councils will see cuts worth 10 billion euros.

France's public spending accounts for about 57 percent of gross domestic product, one of the highest levels in the world.

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