France’s new left-wing alliance unveils ambitious economic programme – and how they'll pay for it

The left-wing New Popular Front coalition announced in a joint press conference Friday just how much its ambitious economic programme is going to cost – and how it’s going to fund it. But for a left fighting against decades of neoliberal economic orthodoxy, convincing voters that alternatives are possible could prove an uphill struggle.

The bombardment has begun. “Unfunded gifts”, a “major risk” of “long-term stagnation” in the French economy, a “total delusion”, “dangerous” propositions. Whether coming from President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) employers' association or non-stop TV talking heads, a hefty part of France’s political and media landscape has been blasting the economic programme put forward by the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) this week.

This increase in revenue through taxation, they said, would cover the cost of the substantial increase in government spending the coalition was proposing – some €150 billion by 2026-2027. They stressed the programme would not increase France’s deficit – though it wouldn’t reduce it, either.

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