A brand new report highlights the influence of a controversial authorities coverage to scale back taxes on the wealthiest individuals in French society. It concludes that as a substitute of financial development, as envisaged, the very rich have simply obtained richer.
Le Monde called it a “highly flammable report” significantly at a time when “an increasing number of households are being pushed into poverty”.
In December 2018, President Macron’s authorities abolished a wealth tax referred to as the ISF (impôt sur la fortune, translated actually as taxes on somebody’s fortune), and as a substitute launched a flat tax of 30% on wealth and a tax on actual property. Folks would not be taxed on share dividends and it might influence individuals who had a fortune exceeding €1.3 million ($1.5 million).
The goals of the reform have been to “encourage enterprise development and stimulate innovation” with the rationale that the richest individuals, in the event that they have been taxed much less, would make investments extra within the economic system. It’s a idea referred to as “runoff” in France or “trickle down economics”–that everybody advantages from a wholesome, vibrant economic system in any respect socio-economic ranges.
The financial idea was utilized by Reagan and Thatcher within the Nineteen Eighties–with economists divided about its long-term impacts.
It was hoped that it might cease the richest individuals leaving France–that they had been leaving to keep away from having their fortune severely taxed. France Culture quoted Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire that “overtaxing capital didn’t result in extra tax justice, however to extra traders and creators of wealth leaving.”
The new study was undertaken by the Tax Reform Review Committee, for France Stratégie to comply with up on a evaluate undertaken one yr in the past. That evaluate was inconclusive on the impacts of France’s fiscal reform, whereas the brand new report is far more detrimental.
The authors reported that the incomes of the wealthiest 0.1% of French individuals have sharply elevated; this quantities to roughly 3,800 households. It has additionally led to an explosion in individuals receiving firm dividends, which pertains to many extra individuals.
France Stratégie is an autonomous organisation, established by former French president François Hollande in 2013, to analyse social, environmental and financial points.
The research acknowledged that it might be tough to analyse the influence of the abolishment of the wealth tax going ahead as a result of the monetary influence of the pandemic will skew outcomes “which can make evaluation of the 2018 reforms over the medium-term, far more complicated”.