The Telegraph reports:
Returning from their summer break, the French are about to discover stinging rises in tax bills in their letter boxes – the result of a series of new levies enacted by President François Hollande as he seeks to plug the French deficit and bring down public debt – now riding at 92 per cent of GDP.
But the extent of the hikes has apparently even shocked the very Socialist ministers who implemented them.
The total tax pressure (taxes and social security contributions) will account for 46.3 per cent of GDP this year – a historic high – compared to 45 per cent in 2012. …
The rich will see the highest rises, following Mr Hollande’s decision to raise the rate to 45 per cent for those earning more than 150,000 euros – effectively 49 per cent due to an additional levy.
This will be an aspirational target for Labour by the time their leadership primary is done!
In a clear damage limitation exercise, a chorus of top Socialists spoke out against any more rises.
Pierre Mosovici, the finance minister, told France Inter radio: “I’m very sensitive to the French getting fed up with taxes We are listening to them.” Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister followed suit, warning Mr Hollande to be “very, very careful” as “there’s a level above which we shouldn’t climb”.
One Socialist told Les Echos newspaper that the hand-wringing was totally hypocritical as “they are crying wolf, but the wolf is us.”
A cunning strategy. Pile on heaps of new taxes, and then claim to be against any more taxes.