French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Thursday that his government will not copy British economic policies as they had created poverty and inequality.
"I see a lot more poverty, more inequalities and if I was to look for a model to reform France I would want to save the French model reforming it and certainly not copy what others do, especially not if we're not talking about the best," Ayrault told French private TV network TF1.
Asked about cuts in public spending imposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron's government, Ayrault said "France is about to regain the level of national wealth it had before the 2008 crisis (which) Britain has still not refound".
"So the situation in Britain, with the mass poverty that it generated is far less good than in France."
Ayrault criticised Britain's zero-hour contracts under which employees agree to be available for work as and when required, so that no particular number of hours or times of work are specified.
"Do you find this okay?" he asked. "Do you think the French would accept this? This is not our policy."
Ayrault, a socialist, spoke hours after the French parliament approved a belt-tightening budget for 2014 with huge spending cuts and tax hikes in a bid to rein in the country's high public deficit.
The second budget of President Francois Hollande's government had been rejected by the Senate but passed Thursday in the lower house although the main opposition centre-right UMP party and the far-right National Front voted against it.
Based on projected economic growth of 0.9 percent in 2014, the budget aims to bring down the public deficit from the current level of 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
In Britain, where unemployment has hit a four-year low, at 7.4 percent, finance minister George Osborne earlier this month hiked the government's economic growth forecasts as the recovery picks up speed.
The economy will grow 1.4 percent in 2013 and 2.4 percent in 2014, Osborne said in his so-called autumn statement.
The Conservative minister announced a new cap from next year on welfare spending, and outlined plans for another £3.0 billion ($4.9 billion, 3.6 billion euros) in savings in the public sector.