Paris (AFP) – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced yesterday the suspension of planned tax increases raising the price of fuel.
“No tax merits putting the unity of the nation in danger,” Philippe said in a televised address, adding that the anger on the streets “originates from a profound injustice: of not being able to live with dignity from one’s work”
He also announced that increases in the cost of gas and electricity, also set to take effect from January 1, would be suspended for three months during the winter months.
Protests in Paris on Saturday degenerated into some of the worst violence in years in the capital, which saw more than 200 vehicles torched and the Arc de Triomphe vandalised.
Philippe said the protesters and the government shared the same objective — “that work pays” — and acknowledged that France had some of the highest taxes in Europe – AFP
“If taxes fall, public spending must fall,” he said.
More than 100 people were injured in the French capital and 412 arrested over the weekend during France’s worst urban riot in years, with dozens of cars torched.
The protests began last month with motorists upset over the fuel tax increase and have grown to encompass a range of complaints, with protesters claiming that Macron’s government doesn’t care about the problems of ordinary people.
The planned new tax was to increase gasoline price by 4 euro cents per liter from January next year. Gasoline currently costs about 1.42 euros a liter in Paris, slightly more than diesel.- AFP