French oppose pension changes, diesel tax: poll

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 16, 2013 6:06 PM
French oppose pension changes, diesel tax: poll

PARIS (Reuters) - Most French people oppose ending inflation-linked rises for private-sector pensions, a poll showed on Saturday, highlighting the challenge facing the government as it prepares broader changes to the pension system.

Some 75 percent of respondents reject a deal on Wednesday in which unions and employers agreed on adjusting private sector pensions by less than the rate of inflation, the Ifop poll for the Journal du Dimanche newspaper showed.

The agreement was seen as a test of the government's chances of making similar changes to the broader system when it unveils a reform in July to rein in an overall annual pension deficit set to hit 20 billion euros by 2020.

The poll, carried out among 1005 people on March 14-15, also showed that nearly three quarters of respondents would oppose increasing taxes on diesel, another possible step for plugging fiscal shortfalls proposed by the government's auditor.

Any tax rise would be a controversial move in a country where diesel accounts for 80 percent of road fuel consumption, and ministers have insisted that it will not happen this year.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Jason Webb)