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French government criticizes companies for not hiring despite tax cuts

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PARIS — France's Socialist government is criticizing companies for not hiring despite major tax cuts designed to encourage job creation.

PHOTO: Small and medium-sized enterprise owners hold padlocks as they demonstrate in Paris, France, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Several thousand French business owners, particularly from small companies, demonstrated to plead with the government to simplify regulations and make it easier and cheaper to hire. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Small and medium-sized enterprise owners hold padlocks as they demonstrate in Paris, France, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Several thousand French business owners, particularly from small companies, demonstrated to plead with the government to simplify regulations and make it easier and cheaper to hire. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that a government plan dubbed a "pact of responsibility" has been a "failure." The pact announced by President Francois Hollande in January aims to ease payroll taxes by up to 40 billion euros ($50 billion) by 2017. In exchange, companies were expected to hire.

Macron said on Radio Classique that "the Parliament has voted the tax cuts," and asked employers to start negotiations with unions especially on hiring and investment in order to "get results."

Business owners argue the government's efforts don't go far enough to reduce labor costs. Thousands of business owners protested Monday in the streets of Paris and Toulouse against taxes and regulations.

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