* Budget minister says to raise budget reserves to 8.5 bln
* Says government job plans may need extra funds
* Tax on wealthy to be amended, included in 2014 budget
PARIS, Jan 6 France will reallocate 2 billion
euros ($2.61 billion) from its 2013 budget to help finance
state-aided job creation, Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac said on
With the unemployment rate at a 15-year high and rising,
President Francois Hollande has promised to turn things around
this year and hopes that plans to create thousands of subsidised
jobs and "generation contracts" to encourage companies to hire
young workers kick in quickly.
Speaking on Europe 1 radio, Cahuzac said the government
would need to raise its 6.5 billion euros budget reserve -
usually used for unforeseen events such as natural disasters or
military operations - as a precaution.
"At my request, the president and prime minister decided to
increase this reserve by 2 billion euros because we think
notably that for our job policy we'll need more money to finance
state-aided jobs and generation contracts," Cahuzac said.
The minister said the funds would not come by increasing
deficits or taxes but from existing budgets.
Hollande's administration is struggling to stop losses of
industrial jobs while curbing public spending and raising taxes
to help slash debt in a stagnant economy.
A survey by IFOP for weekly newspaper Le Journal du
Dimanche on Sunday showed three-quarters of respondents did not
believe Hollande would be able to keep his promises on jobs.
The president, who has decided to carry out at least one
visit a week across France to explain his polices, is trying to
win back voters who are increasingly unhappy over the
government's handling of the economy and disillusioned by a
series of communication gaffes.
The decision by France's Constitutional Court in December to
strike down Hollande's symbolic campaign pledge to impose a 75
percent tax rate on income over 1 million euros was a political
blow to the Socialist leader.
Cahuzac, who reiterated there would be no further tax hikes
during Hollande's presidency, said the government would not
abandon the tax on the super wealthy.
It would be amended it to ensure it meets constitutional
requirements and included in the 2014 budget, he said.
Cahuzac said the rate could be reduced and may last beyond
the two years originally planned for the 75 percent rate.