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The Tax Policies Of The French Presidential Candidates

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

25 April 2017

As widely predicted, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and former nationalist party leader Marine Le Pen gained the most votes in the preliminary round of the French Presidential election on April 23. Their parties go forward to a run-off election on May 7.

Both candidates have pledged changes to French taxes if elected President.

Macron, a former economy minister in President Hollande's government and thought to be the favorite to win the run-off vote, is proposing to cut taxes by EUR20bn (USD21.7bn), with the reductions divided equally between businesses and individuals.

The program includes a reduction in corporate tax to 25 percent from its existing level of 33.33 percent over five years. This would go beyond the cut to 28 percent for all firms by 2020 approved by the current Government.

In addition, Macron wants to remove investment income from the scope of the wealth tax, so that it effectively becomes a tax on high-value property, and raise environmental taxes.

Meanwhile, Le Pen's flagship tax measure is a tax on companies employing foreign workers in France, under which employers would be taxed at 10 percent of the wages paid to each foreign worker they employ. Citizens originating from other European Union member states would also fall within the definition of foreign workers according to this plan.

Another of Le Pen's eye-catching proposals falls under her so-called "intelligent protectionism" policy, which would see a 10 percent tariff imposed on imports.

The right-wing candidate, who resigned her position as leader of the National Front Party in the wake of the first round of voting to concentrate on the run-off, also wants to reduce the lower three tax brackets by 10 percent each.

TAGS: individuals | environment | tax | investment | business | tariffs | corporation tax | environmental tax | France | individual income tax | Europe

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