France to cut farm taxes to counter crisis

PARIS, France (Reuters) — France will cut social contributions paid by farmers in an attempt to counter a crisis in the livestock sector.

Prime minister Manuel Valls said the tax break is worth more than $700 million.

The government has been trying to defuse protests by farmers angered by persistently low dairy and meat prices and has also turned to the European Union to obtain extra aid.

The tax cuts, which are in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in aid granted by France to livestock farmers since last summer, would benefit all farmers and take immediate effect, Valls said.

The livestock sector has been hurt by oversupply and falling prices, partly linked to a Russian embargo on EU food products.

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