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French MPs refuse to cut own pay

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11:38 CET+01:00

French lawmakers rejected a proposal on Monday to cut their own pay by 10 percent. They have however agreed to reduce the National Assembly's budget by three percent.

Thirty MPs had backed a proposal to cut their own salaries as the economic crisis hits France and the government ushers in austerity measures to reduce public deficits.

French right-wing lawmaker Lionnel Luca had tabled an amendment to the 2012 budget bill which reduced MPs' salaries by 10 percent. His proposal has divided the right-wing UMP party with heavyweights UMP parliamentary group president Christian Jacob and National Assembly president Bernard Accoyer voting against the cuts.

Luca pleaded that in times of economic turmoil, MPs should lead the way and reduce their spending.

The Socialist party lawmakers abstained on Monday. Left-wing politicians accused UMP lawmakers who backed the proposal of pandering to populism. Socialist lawmaker Jean Launay said the amendment was "a gadget" that "lacked real political significance".

Budget minister Valérie Pécressse has issued a statement saying there will be no salary cuts in 2012.

Luca said he would nevertheless cut his own salary by 10 percent.

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