Chirac jobs creation plan `will not work'

Jacques Chirac's elaborate job-creation programme, designed to address the key issue of the French presidential election campaign - unemployment - has been dismissed by a group of leading economists.

Le Monde newspaper commissioned the group, led by Professor Alain Muet from thePolytechnique in Paris, to consider the policies on unemployment of the three leading candidates - Jacques Chirac, who is leading the opinion polls, the Socialist, Lionel Jospin, and the Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur.

Of the three, Mr Chirac's programme was considered the least likely to make any difference. Mr Jospin's proposals, which include reducing the working week to 37 hours, was considered the most likely to produce results. Mr Balladur's recipe for continuing existing government policies, plus reducing social charges on employers, came next.

Mr Chirac's programme includes a "right" for all young people to training and apprenticeships, job subsidies for long-term or young unemployed, and greater use of part-time and flexible working, but no statutory reduction in the working week.

The economists said Mr Chirac's proposals would create only 50,000 jobs at a cost of more than 18bn francs (£2.4bn). A chief criticism was that subsidies to ease the unemployed into jobs couldlead to the substitution of existing workers rather than an increase in the total number of jobs. The proposals of both Mr Balladur and Mr Jospin would each create more than double the number of new jobs, at a fraction of the cost.

Whatever the value of the economists' projections, this is the first time any part of Mr Chirac's highly detailed and glitzily presented programme has been subjected to detailed scrutiny over its likely effectiveness. Early in the campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Balladur's spokesman and the Budget minister, organised a detailed "costing" of Mr Chirac's proposals, which calculated they would double the existing budget deficit and could affect the franc's stability.

That exercise produced a fierce argument - ended by the international currency crisis whichdid threaten thefranc.

The question now is whether the voters, whose scepticism of the candidates' ability to deliver their promises is well documented, pay any attention to these findings and start to examine other areas of policy - or whether Mr Chirac's lead is so well-entrenched and grounded in personal loyalty that they make no difference.

Challenged with the findings, Mr Chirac's spokesman, Franois Barroin, said the economists chosen by Le Monde favoured Mr Jospin, making their findingsentirely predictable.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Hampshire

£25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor