French government backtracks over savings tax after uprising

THE FRENCH government was yesterday forced to backtrack on its planned savings levy on the middle classes after violent protest over the latest round of tax hikes.

The decision came a day after a protester had his hand ripped off during clashes over a new “eco-tax” on freight lorries.

President François Hollande is also involved in crisis talks with French football clubs, who called a strike in protest at the 75 per cent “super tax” he has levied against players earning over €1m.

The government’s plan to put a retroactive 15.5 per cent tax on home loan, employee and equity savings plans was yesterday amended to include only life insurance.

“We hear the concerns (of French taxpayers) and we want to put an end to them,” said budget minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Since Hollande’s government was elected last May it has introduced more than 80 new tax rises while introducing austerity measures in an attempt to meet its deficit reduction commitments to the European Union.