The latest estate agency figures have shown large numbers of France’s most well-heeled families selling up and moving to neighbouring countries.
Many are fleeing a proposed new higher tax rateof 75 per cent on all earnings over one million euros. (£780,000)
The previous top tax bracket of 41 per cent on earnings over 72,000 euros is also set to increase to 45 per cent.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is delighted by this exodus.
Prime minister David Cameron angered the French last month when he said he would “roll out the red carpet” to wealthy French citizens and firms who wanted move out and pay their taxes in Britain. He told the B20 business summit in Mexico in June: “I think it’s wrong to have a completely uncompetitive top rate of tax.
“If the French go ahead with a 75 per cent top rate of tax we will roll out the red carpet and welcome more French businesses to Britain and they can pay tax in Britain and pay for our health service and schools and everything else.”
At this point, I would like to go back a little in history. Andrew Mellon was the Secretary of the Treasury back in the 1920’s. He served under Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. When he first became Secretary, in 1921, the highest tax rate was 73%. He proposed dropping the rate to 25%. America was in the middle of a bad depression then and many people were afraid that such tax cuts for the wealthy would lead to a loss in revenue for the government. Mellon responded that it was better to have a low tax rate that people actually pay than a high tax rate that people evade. It turned out that he was right.
I hope that Barack Obama is paying attention to these lessons. I have a feeling that he cares more about punishing the evil millionaires and billionaires than in maximizing revenue to the government.
- Vive France’s 75% Tax Rate on the ‘Wealthy’ (taxprof.typepad.com)
- Vive La France … And Its High Taxes On The Wealthy (wnyc.org)
- France shoots itself in foot yet again: proposed tax hikes spark ‘exodus’ of wealthy (sott.net)
- Francois Hollande announces French tax grab on holiday homes (telegraph.co.uk)
- Wealthy Flee France Top Tax Rate of 75%; Cameron Lays Out Red Carpet (ilene.typepad.com)