French hard-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon would raise spending by 273 billion euros ($290 billion), his team said in a presentation online on Sunday.

 

 Melenchon

 

That sum includes a 100 billion-euro recovery plan to stimulate the French economy. The new spending would essentially be financed through higher taxes, debt, lower tax evasion and higher economic growth, according to Melenchon’s political movement, dubbed “Indomitable France” and backed by the country’s Communist party.

 

The proposed measures, which include a 15 percent increase in France’s minimum wage, new funds to fight poverty and create new jobs, underscore the gap Melenchon would have to bridge with Socialist rival Benoit Hamon in order to find a common platform for the April and May presidential election.

 

Melenchon’s plan would cut France’s unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2022 from about 10 percent today, with an economic growth forecast of about 2 percent as soon as 2018, his team said.

 

The total weight of taxes would increase by four points to the equivalent of about 49 percent of France’s gross domestic product, while the country’s yearly budget deficit would fall to 2.5 percent by 2022, they said.

 

 

 

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