Henry Samuel in Paris
Emmanuel Macron discussed ambitious plans to “ban nepotism” in French politics as he chaired his first cabinet meeting yesterday.
Ministers discussed the political clean-up plan amid high public approval for the new president’s Left-Right government – but surprisingly low public confidence in him, with one poll suggesting he has the lowest confidence rating for a new leader in 20 years.
During his campaign Mr Macron (39) promised to rush through a bill to “moralise political life” and end the “leprosy” of cronyism in France.
A string of scandals has seen French faith in politicians plummet, with three quarters viewing them as corrupt, according to a recent poll.
The campaign was blighted by charges against conservative candidate Francois Fillon for allegedly spending €800,000 in state funds to pay his British wife Penelope as his parliamentary assistant.
The Front National is embroiled in a jobs scandal.
Now, French MPs will have to pay tax on their monthly expenses and justify spending. Both houses of parliament will lose their cushy pensions system.
MPs will no longer be allowed do consultancy work in parallel with their parliamentary job, even if this started before they took office.
New polls showed some 61 per cent of French people voiced approval for Mr Macron’s first government, and his La Republique en Marche party stretched its lead in voter intentions for crucial parliamentary elections.