November 20, 2017 / 2:10 PM / a year ago

France weighing broader payroll charge cuts - PM

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe delivers a speech at a congress of "La Republique en Marche" (The Republic On The Move or LREM) political party in Lyon, France, November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

BOBIGNY, France (Reuters) - The French government is considering further reductions in payroll taxation, including on relatively high salaries, but will do so only if that does not hit budget deficit-reduction plans, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Monday.

Over the last few years, France has gradually cut payroll levies which finance health, unemployment and other national insurance schemes and are among the highest in Europe, but has mostly focused the cuts on pay at or around the minimum wage.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, a former conservative, has argued the cuts in such charges should be extended to salaries above 2.5 times the minimum wage to encourage companies to hire more high-skilled workers.

“We are ready to continue with payroll charges cuts, including for salaries above 2.5 times the minimum wage,” Philippe said.

“But only and only when we will have restored our public accounts situation,” he added.

Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Brian Love

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