Macron makes U-turn on fuel-tax increases in face of ‘yellow vest’ protests

Macron makes U-turn on fuel-tax increases in face of ‘yellow vest’ protests

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PARIS – France’s prime minister on Tuesday suspended planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests, the first major U-turn by President Emmanuel Macron’s administration after 18 months in office.
In announcing the decision, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said anyone would have “to be deaf or blind” not to see or hear the roiling anger on the streets over a policy that Macron has defended as critical to combating climate change.
“The French who have donned yellow vests want taxes to drop, and work to pay. That’s also what we want. If I didn’t manage to explain it, if the ruling majority didn’t manage to convince the French, then something must change,” said Philippe.
“No tax is worth jeopardizing the unity of the nation.”
Along with the delay to the tax increases that were set for January, Philippe said the time would be used to discuss other measures to help the working poor and squeezed middle-class who rely on vehicles to get to work and go shopping.
Earlier officials had hinted at a possible increase to the minimum wage, but Philippe made no such commitment.
He warned citizens, however, that they could not expect better public services and lower taxes.

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