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  • Chap 1

  • The leftist ‘idealist’

    The tough-talking ‘realist’

     Creation of a universal basic income

    • Hamon advocates gradually introducing a universal basic income in France. Initially, the programme would only affect young people between the ages of 18 and 25, as well as welfare beneficiaries, who would receive a monthly stipend of €600 from the state. It would then be expanded to the rest of the population, who would be eligible to receive up to €750 per month. The ultimate goal would be to reduce the workweek to less than 35 hours, therefore creating more employment.

     Creation of a decent living wage

    • Valls is opposed to the idea of a universal basic income. Instead, he advocates establishing a decent living wage, which would be made up of social benefits and allocated to those over the age of 18, depending on resources. The goal would be to ensure a minimum wage of at least €800 per month. Anyone earning less would be eligible for additional welfare benefits.

     Overturn labour reforms

    • Hamon wants to overturn recent reforms designed to make France’s labour market more flexible, partly by enabling companies to lay off workers more easily. The controversial legislation – also known as the El Khomri law after its author, Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri – sparked weeks of mass protests across the country last year.

     Keep labour reforms

    • Valls is a staunch supporter of the labour reforms, which he more or less forced through parliament as prime minister.

     Disregard EU Stability and Growth Pact

    • Hamon is against the European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact, which requires member countries to keep their budget deficit under 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

     Respect EU Stability and Growth Pact

    • Valls wants to “maintain the deficit just below a bar of 3 percent”, but “without making further cuts”.

     Tax robots

    • Hamon vows to tax the extra money generated by robots that replace workers in order to finance social protections.

     Detaxation of overtime hours

    • In an effort to increase purchasing power, Valls promises to introduce an amended version of a past right-wing measure that eliminates taxes on overtime work.

     Expand renewable energy to 50 percent by 2025

    • Hamon wants to create subsidies that would allow individuals to install renewable energy sources, such as solar, in their homes.

     Reduce nuclear to 50 percent by 2025

    • Valls wants to reduce nuclear’s role in energy production from 75 to 50 percent between now and 2025.

     Relaunch Europe

    • Hamon says he will appeal to the European Union to invest €1 trillion in renewable energy. He also advocates introducing a European-wide minimum wage, which would be set at 60 percent of the average income.

     Rebuild Europe

    • Valls says he will organise a conference with Germany on rebuilding the European Union in a bid to strengthen the bloc and “refocus Europe on its main goals”. He also backs the idea of a European-wide minimum wage, but has not said how it will be calculated. Lastly, he wants major European investment in renewable energy and digital technology.

     Increase security spending

    • Hamon vows to increase the defence and national security budget to 3 percent of the GDP.

     Increase defence budget

    • Valls promises to increase the defence budget to 2 percent of the GDP.

     Hire 40,000 more teachers

    • Hamon wants to hire 40,000 more teachers: 20,000 for primary schools, 15,000 for higher education, 2,000 substitutes and 3,000 “floating” teachers for nursery schools in underserved communities.

     Increase teacher salaries

    • Instead of hiring more teachers, Valls pledges to reexamine the salaries and status of those already working for the national education system.

     Pro-legalising cannabis

    • Hamon says he wants to legalise cannabis use in France in order to “kill drug trafficking at its source and protect our citizens from dealers”.

     Anti-legalising cannabis

    • Valls is against the legalisation of cannabis in France.

     Pro-assisted reproduction for all

    • Hamon wants to grant single women and same-sex couples the right to assisted reproduction.

     Open to a debate on assisted reproduction

    • Valls says he is open to holding a national debate on assisted reproduction for same-sex couples.