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French lawmakers pass bill to help voters cope with soaring prices

France’s government took a major step towards fulfilling its key election promise to increase household purchasing power despite rising inflation. Friday’s National Assembly bill temporarily frozen rent rises and lifted pensions.

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As a test of President Emmanuel Macron’s ability to work with all parties, the Senate will receive the bill next.

Draft law provides pay increases for public sector workers, inspections of food and a mechanism that allows companies pay higher tax-free bonuses employees. Budget costs are estimated at EUR20 billion or $20.37bn.

Macron made it a central promise after his first term to help France deal with rising living costs. This was due in large part to the soaring energy prices after Russia invaded Ukraine.

France’s inflation was 6.5% last month. This is the same as in other eurozone countries.

After heated debates, Nupes alliance politicians (the largest opposition bloc), criticized the government for failing to take enough steps.

The bill was approved by 341 votes and rejected by 116. Les Republicains, Les Republicains and the far-right Rassemblement National voted in favor of it. Nupes legislators did not vote for it.


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