Hollande suffers set back as employers reject jobs targets

France's largest employers group has confirmed it will not agree to government hiring targets outlined in the so called "responsibility pact" proposed by President Francois Hollande.

Medef president Pierre Gatz told France 2 television:

I am not talking about written commitments.

One million jobs, that is the consequence of the package of measures we expect - and which we expect in 2014, moreover. Companies are being asphyxiated and terrorised by a political mood that was difficult for them in 2013.

President Hollande announced plans last week to cut taxes on labour by €30bn (£24bn) to €35bn (£29bn) and reduce red tape in exchange for a commitment from businesses to increase hiring. French unemployment remains stubbornly high at 11 per cent.

OECD figures show that the French economy is still groaning under the weight of government spending, amounting to 57 per cent of GDP, while tax revenues stand at 52.8 per cent of GDP.

The 75 per cent top rate of tax has been enacted and will last for two years starting at €1m (£825,000) in earnings.

The anti-entrepreneurial climate of Hollande's France has not been helped by the actions of militant unions, such as the taxi unions who have lobbied for restrictive regulations to crack down innovative competitors such as Uber.

The government has promised to find an extra €50bn (£30bn) of spending cuts over the next three years, the specifics of which have yet to be identified.