France to freeze public spending for next FIVE years

January 24, 2008 9:25 AM

According to the French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, the French government is planning to freeze public spending for the next five years to eliminate the country's high budget deficit and bring down spending as a share of GDP.


It is not yet clear whether the spending freeze would be a nominal or real terms one, nor whether it would encompass France's highly indebted social insurance system. 


Still, by any reckoning, this is a bold and necessary move. And one so far ahead of anything planned by any of the main parties in Britain - let us not forget that the three main parties are still pledged to increase spending by 2 per cent per annum in real terms for the next three years. 


It's not often that British politicians need to learn lessons from the French, but here is a lesson staring them in the face.

According to the French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, the French government is planning to freeze public spending for the next five years to eliminate the country's high budget deficit and bring down spending as a share of GDP.


It is not yet clear whether the spending freeze would be a nominal or real terms one, nor whether it would encompass France's highly indebted social insurance system. 


Still, by any reckoning, this is a bold and necessary move. And one so far ahead of anything planned by any of the main parties in Britain - let us not forget that the three main parties are still pledged to increase spending by 2 per cent per annum in real terms for the next three years. 


It's not often that British politicians need to learn lessons from the French, but here is a lesson staring them in the face.

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