Macron promises more social justice and improved purchasing power

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Nanterre, Apr. 3 (BNA): French President Emmanuel Macron promised voters more social justice and support to improve their purchasing power amid the current crisis, as he campaigned on Saturday a week before the French presidential election begins.

 

"Our project for 2022, it's solidarity and social progress," Macron told tens of thousands of supporters in Nanterre, close to Paris, in his only major appearance before the first round of the election, dpa reports.

  

"French people who work shouldn't have to spend their whole salary filling up their petrol tanks and shopping, that's unfair," he said.

 

Working people should be able to receive a tax-free purchasing power bonus of up to €6,000 ($6,620) as of summer, according to Macron, who is running for his second term.

 

He also held out the prospect of more money for those who are self-employed.

 

Meanwhile amid soaring energy prices, Macron said his government had already put around €20 billion into capping electricity and gas prices.

 

He also announced further investments and improvements in the health and education sectors.

 

In the future, he said, the minimum pension for those who have worked throughout their lives should be €1,100. He also vowed to raise the help available for single parents.

 

The president also said 50,000 additional nursing staff would be hired and more controls put in place, following a scandal involving abuses in nursing homes. He called for the fight against sexual abuse to be stepped up.

 

Purchasing power has become the all-important issue in the French election campaign, alongside other important topics including education, health care and migration.

 

Macron came late to campaigning because of his diplomatic efforts in the Ukraine war.

 

He is clearly leading in the polls, but his main challenger, the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, has recently made up considerable ground.