France is ready to start cutting financial support for businesses and workers affected by coronavirus restrictions, with its vaccination program offering a way out of the crisis, Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Sunday.
The government spent more than 40 billion euros ($ 48.8 billion) in 2020 and 2021 to protect jobs, benefiting 2.7 million people on leave last month, up from 2.4 million in March , Borne told France Inter radio.
“With the vaccinations, we can see the end of the tunnel,” Borne said. As of Saturday, more than 25 million people had received at least one injection in France, with 36.1 million doses administered in total.
“We are entering a new phase; we are gradually reducing the emergency aid put in place during the crisis, and we are increasingly targeting aid, ”the minister said. “We are careful not to interrupt support too quickly during this time, and to support sectors and areas that are still struggling. “
The government will continue to cover 100% of the leave costs for the most affected businesses such as hotels, cafes and restaurants throughout June, the minister said. The share covered by companies will then gradually increase to reach 40% in September.
She added that industries such as aerospace, which have suffered a global drop in travel due to health restrictions, have a long-term plan to protect jobs for up to 24 months that is currently helping more. of 800,000 people.
The minister plans to meet with unions and employers’ organizations on June 7 to discuss how to protect the most fragile sectors and areas as the country emerges from the health crisis.
Budget Minister Olivier Dussopt told the Agence France-Presse news agency on Saturday that financial aid to French businesses and workers would widen the country’s budget deficit to around € 220 billion this year.
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