François Hollande’s policy of a 75 per cent rate of income tax for top earners is already a disaster for the country’s image, and it will have a negative impact by reducing France’s economic competitiveness. France needs entrepreneurs and risk-takers to create wealth. Heavy taxation is unfair on talented people who create jobs for others. The tax may be symbolic to some, since it will supposedly only affect 1,500 people. But such confiscation will discourage anyone who wants to be financially successful from being domiciled in France. This affair has once again demonstrated Hollande’s incompetence. The idea of a 75 per cent income tax was improvised during his presidential campaign. Sadly, although the Constitutional Council has rejected this tax as being illegal, there are already plans to present this policy again.
Emmanuelle Savarit is the former UMP candidate for Northern Europe in the French Parliament.
President Hollande made a pledge during his campaign: everyone must contribute to the efforts towards reducing deficit and public debt. He chose that approach on the grounds of social fairness and was elected by the French people as a result. Conservative governments have asked the vast majority of citizens to pay the price of the crisis. These citizens have consequently lost their jobs and seen a reduction in the benefits and services provided by the welfare state at a time when they needed them most. But French public debt has doubled in the last ten years, and fiscal rebates haven’t created economic value. It was time we reversed this trend. In a crisis of historic proportions, everyone should be making an effort, and those who are least affected should contribute as much as they are able to. What we need is a stable fiscal and economic environment to support competitiveness and the real economy.
Axelle Lemaire is Parti Socialiste MP for Northern Europe.