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Date : 20210119

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News Article : Rishi Sunak to 'reform' taxes in March budget - impact on IHT, CGT & wealth taxes explored

Rishi Sunak to 'reform' taxes in March budget - impact on IHT, CGT & wealth taxes explored

INHERITANCE tax reform could be on Rishi Sunak's agenda with the March budget quickly approaching. Taxes across the board may have to be altered in the coming months as the Government attempts to cover coronavirus related debt and this could impact Capital Gains Tax (CGT), income tax and even the introduction of a type of wealth tax.

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Date : 20200121

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News Article : Changing tack, French militants turn off power to press govt

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Changing tack, French militants turn off power to press govt

Opening another front in their battle against the French government, protesting workers cut power to thousands of Parisians on Tuesday, plunging homes into darkness and shutting down trains to one of the capital's main airports. It hit users in the southern suburbs of Paris, which include the Orly international airport and the massive Rungis market that supplies food to the Paris region. “It's symbolic,” Jouanno said of the power cut, speaking in a telephone interview.

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Rungis France general France Paris French Franck jouanno Julien denormandie President emmanuel macron French government Emmanuel macron French workers Power grid Power cut Transport workers Union workers

Date : 20200109

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News Article : Tensions flare in French protests as pension dispute grinds on

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Tensions flare in French protests as pension dispute grinds on

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to streets across France on Thursday in the latest mass protests against a pensions overhaul that critics say could cut benefits even while requiring people to work longer before retiring.

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France Paris France general Aulnay sous bois French Edouard philippe Philippe martinez Gerald darmanin Marylou crampette Cedric chevalier Morgane henry Eiffel tower President emmanuel macron Minister edouard philippe Minister gerald darmanin The government Saint lazare

Date : 20200108

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News Article : No breakthrough in French pensions impasse

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Date : 20200101

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News Article : French hardline union calls for more strikes to counter Macron's pension reform

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French hardline union calls for more strikes to counter Macron's pension reform

French hardline union CGT called on Wednesday for more strikes in France this month after president Emmanuel Macron pledged to push through an overhaul of the pension system following weeks of nationwide strikes by trade unions. Unions are trying to force the former investment banker to abandon his overhaul of France's pension system with nationwide strikes since Dec. 5 that have crippled public transport. "I was under the impression of having heard these words a thousand times," Philippe Martinez, the head of the CGT union, told BFM television of Macron's address.

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Paris France general France French Matthias blamont Philippe martinez Emmanuel macron New year Louise heavens Trade unions Pension system Hardline union

Date : 20191230

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News Article : Strike deadlock continues as French government, unions trade barbs

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Strike deadlock continues as French government, unions trade barbs

The French government and a key trade union on Sunday exchanged bitter accusations over who was to blame for France’s over three-week transport strike against pension reforms, as the stalemate showed little sign of relenting.Deputy Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari accused the hardline CGT union of a “systematic opposition to any reform” while the union’s chief Philippe Martinez charged the government with strewing “chaos” in the conflict.The strike—now longer than the notorious 22-day strike of winter 1995 -- has lasted 25 days and is on course to surpass the longest transport strike in France, which lasted for 28 days in 1986 and early 1987.Aside from two driverless lines, the Paris metro was again almost completely shut down on Sunday while only a fraction of high-speed TGV trains were running.The government and unions are only due to hold their next talks on January 7, two days ahead of a new day of mass demonstrations against the reform, which is championed by President Emmanuel Macron. In an interview with the Journal de Dimanche newspaper, Djebbari angrily accused the CGT of “attitudes of intimidation, harassment and even aggression” against railway workers who had opted not to down tools.He accused the CGT of showing a “systematic opposition to any reform, of blocking and sometimes intimidation”.“The CGT wants to make its mark through media stunts. But the French are not going to be duped by the extreme-left politicisation of this movement,” he added.‘Like Thatcher’But in an interview with the same newspaper, Martinez accused the government of trying to ensure the conflict deteriorated further.“Emmanuel Macron presents himself as a man of a new world but he is imitating Margaret Thatcher,” he said, referring to the late British prime minister who sought to break the power of the unions in 1980s standoffs.“There is real anger. Of course, not being paid for 24 days is tough. But the conflict is the result of two-and-a-half years of suffering,” Martinez added.He said he was awaiting concessions from Macron in a New Year’s address Tuesday evening as well as recognition that “most people are not happy and that he (the president) was wrong”.The French president, elected in 2017 on pledges to reform France, has remained virtually silent on the standoff, save for a call for a Christmas truce that went unheeded and a vow not to take a presidential pension.This will intensify attention on the December 31 address, with all eyes on whether Macron offers steps to defuse the conflict or indicates he is ready for a long, grinding standoff. The unions are demanding that the government drops a plan to merge 42 existing pension schemes into a single, points-based system.The overhaul would see workers in certain sectors—including the railways—lose early retirement benefits. The government says the pension overhaul is needed to create a fairer system.But workers object to the inclusion of a so-called pivot age of 64 until which people would have to work to earn a full pension—two years beyond the official retirement age.There have been signs of progress in specific sectors, with the government offering concessions to dancers at the Paris Opera who have been on strike to protect their special scheme.The main French pilots union SNPL also last week cancelled planned strike action on January 3 following talks with the government.There was expected to be an improvement in Paris metro services on Monday—but still with severe disruptions - with two lines closed and 12 lines offering a partial service.(AFP)

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Paris France general France United kingdom French British Margaret thatcher Philippe martinez Jean baptiste djebbari Transport minister jean baptiste djebbari President emmanuel Journal de dimanche New year Paris opera Emmanuel macron The government Transport strike

Date : 20191230

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News Article : Strike fatigue spreads in France | Business News - The Latest financial, market & economic news | DW

Strike fatigue spreads in France | Business News - The Latest financial, market & economic news | DW

Transport strikes in France are almost routine; but prolonged strike action such as this is rare. As the strike enters its 26th day, the strain on Parisians is showing.

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France Paris Strike Transport Tgv Macron

Date : 20191229

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News Article : Crowdfunding and solidarity: How French rail workers sustain a month-long strike

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Crowdfunding and solidarity: How French rail workers sustain a month-long strike

Now in their 25th day, France’s nationwide strikes against the government’s pension reform plans are the longest in more than 30 years. But how are strikers coping after nearly four weeks without pay?On the eve of the New Year, the strikes led by French rail and transport workers are poised to become the longest of their kind in the country’s history. The last time workers at the national rail company SNCF went on strike for this long was in December 1986. That walkout, too, spanned the winter holidays: Employees returned to work only on January 15, 1987, after a full 28 days off the job.With no retreat in sight from either the government or the unions, today’s strikes could soon beat that record, forcing strikers to find creative ways to cope.“They’re losing money. The most committed make arrangements and set money aside in advance, but it’s hard, especially for those with low salaries,” said Fabien Dumas, secretary general of the SUD-Rail union. SUD-Rail is one of the leading railworkers’ unions along with the left-wing CGT, and insists that it will pursue the strike until the government withdraws its pension reform plans. To make that possible, it’s relying on everyday solidarity. Collection jars are a regular sight at strike marches. But the bulk of fundraising today is done online. A crowdfunding campaign launched by SUD-Rail has raised more than €43,000 to date. Other unions, including the CFDT and UNSA, have also launched independent crowdfunding campaigns.By far the most successful of the crowdsourced strike funds, though, is the one launched by members of the CGT’s Info’Com (information and communications) branch, which has so far raised upwards of €1.5 million.This “solidarity fund” was originally created in 2016, during major strikes against labour law reforms passed by President François Hollande’s government. It is now serving as a de facto centralised fundraiser for those striking against pension reforms: Of the nearly €1.9 million raised since the fund was created, more than €1.2 million has been for the current pension reform strikes.Most of that money has in turn been redistributed to those on the picket lines. Romain Altmann, secretary general of Info’Com CGT, says the funds have been disbursed according to “criteria defined by strikers and unions”. Altogether, the branch’s crowdfunding page says it has disbursed just over €1 million to striking workers since 2016. Info’Com CGT published a report in 2017 tallying all the funds raised and distributed to that date.On Tuesday, the branch disbursed €250,000 to striking employees of Paris’s transit authority, the RATP. (All but two Paris metro lines – the driverless 1 and 14 lines – have been shut down or operating on a very limited schedule since the start of the strike on December 5.)Blank paychecks and few formal strike fundsSuch crowdfunding efforts are all the more crucial for strikers because most French unions do not maintain a formal strike fund. The CFDT, France’s largest union (and fourth-largest among railworkers), boasts that it is the only union in the country to have one. Financed by members’ dues, the fund allows striking members to collect just over €7 per hour while they’re on the picket lines.While lower than France’s current minimum wage of €10 per hour, this hourly compensation is a unique boost to striking workers, and demands significant resources from the union. The CFDT fund, which also supports workers litigating labour law cases against their employers, holds more than €100 million, according to a union official who asked to remain anonymous.Still, the CFDT official told FRANCE 24 that this has been a trying holiday season for those on strike.“They know full well that this will have an impact on their wages,” he told FRANCE 24 on Christmas Eve, worrying that some workers would be “eating cans of cassoulet” (a bean dish) in place of a traditional holiday meal.Other union leaders echo his concerns. SNCF employees who have stayed off the job since December 5 have by now lost an entire month’s paycheck, a SUD-Rail official told Franceinfo. RATP workers will see the cut in their pay at the end of January.The losses are partially compensated by the “13th month” of pay that some French workers receive under collective bargaining agreements negotiated between unions and employers. RATP employees, for example, received this additional month’s worth of pay at the end of November, just ahead of the strike. SNCF workers, for their part, received their year-end bonus in mid-December.Some returning to workIndeed, despite widespread pledges of solidarity, most of those out on strike are forced to make do on their own.“The strikers are doing what all French people do when they have a difficult end of the month,” says Thierry Babec, general secretary of Unsa-RATP. “Some of them have considered taking out loans or cutting into their overdraft” to finance their strike, he says.Some are also returning to work. At the SNCF, the share of employees on strike has declined from more than 55 percent on December 5 to just 8.5 percent. Among conductors, fewer than 39 percent are still on strike, compared to 87 percent at the start of the movement.Speaking to FRANCE 24 at a strike march in Paris on Saturday, one railworker conceded, “We have a few colleagues who are going back to work, but they say they will resume the strike later. They're just pausing for a few days.” A fresh day of national protests has been called for January 9. In the meantime, it’s not hard to understand why many have returned to work, despite the apparent success of some crowdfunding efforts. Even the sums raised by the most successful campaign, if paid out in full to striking workers, would represent a tiny fraction of their losses in pay – losses that can range from roughly €60 to €100 per day, according to a CGT spokesperson.Moreover, the sums actually paid out to workers by the crowdfunding campaigns often remain opaque, fuelling contention between union members and leadership. Laurent Brun, secretary general of the national railworkers’ branch of the CGT, has derided the crowdfunding efforts as opportunistic.“This is how you instrumentalise the strike to collect money,” he wrote on Twitter of the Info’Com CGT campaign. “This fund does not represent CGT railworkers.”“You distribute the money as you please and give the impression that you are collecting it [on behalf of the union], which is not the case,” Brun added.‘Remarkable national solidarity’Altmann, of Info’Com CGT, stands by “solidarity funds” like the one launched by his branch. He emphasises that “this money does not come from the CGT, it comes from donors”, and says those donors include many people “who couldn’t go on strike for financial reasons – women working part time, for example, or pensioners”.Altmann says that even if the sums raised by crowdfunding are “a drop in the ocean” compared to workers’ losses in pay, they show “remarkable national solidarity” with the strikes. Still, he admits that the benefit is largely “symbolic” when those on strike face “tens of millions of euros” in lost pay.This article was adapted by Colin Kinniburgh from the original French article by Tiffany Fillon.

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Paris France general France French Laurent brun Romain altmann Thierry babec Remarkable New year Fabien dumas President fran Christmas eve Striking workers Strike Sncf Solidarity fund

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