Europe

French government plans tax cuts in its 2017 budget

  • France's President Francois Hollande gestures as he speaks to scientists during the World Science Day a gathering of scientists from 57 countries at the Louvre museum in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. France is also celebrating 350 years of it's academy of science. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)

    France's President Francois Hollande gestures as he speaks to scientists during the World Science Day a gathering of scientists from 57 countries at the Louvre museum in Paris, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. France is also celebrating 350 years of it's academy of science. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's Finance and Economy Minister Michel Sapin delivers a speech during a press conference in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including 1-billion euro ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit to 5 million modest and middle-class households. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    France's Finance and Economy Minister Michel Sapin delivers a speech during a press conference in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including 1-billion euro ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit to 5 million modest and middle-class households. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's Finance and Economy Minister Michel Sapin arrives for a press conference in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including 1-billion euro ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit to 5 million modest and middle-class households. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    France's Finance and Economy Minister Michel Sapin arrives for a press conference in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including 1-billion euro ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit to 5 million modest and middle-class households. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit 5 million low and middle-income households.

The budget detailed at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday is based on expected economic growth of 1.5 percent both this year and next. The International Monetary Fund forecasts only 1.2 percent growth next year.

The government vows to bring the deficit to 2.7 percent of gross domestic product, which would be within the EU limit of 3 percent for the first time since 2007.

The economy is expected to be a major concern for French voters ahead of the presidential election in April-May 2017. Unemployment has been hovering around 10 percent for years.