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French Socialist presidential frontrunner Hollande wants 75 per cent tax on super-rich

Reuters/Fred Dufour/Pool

Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande sparked debate on Tuesday with his surprise announcement the previous night on French television that if elected in May, he would impose a 75 per cent tax rate on France’s top earners.

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He says the rate would apply to everyone who earned more than a million euros per year.

Hollande declared that it was “patriotism to accept to pay more tax to help the country get back on its feet.”

In January, Hollande declared that his “enemy” was the “world of finance”.

Politicians on the right were swift to attack the idea on the airwaves on Tuesday, raising the possibility that money would simply move to Switzerland or Belgium.

Education minister Luc Chatel said that while Hollande wanted fewer rich people, Sarkozy wants fewer poor people.

Hollande "invents a new tax every week without ever proposing the smallest saving," said Budget Minister Valerie Pecresse, while Foreign Minister Alain Juppé denounced the plan as "fiscal confiscation."

When Sarkozy came to power in 2007, he introduced a "tax shield" that capped tax at 50 per cent of all income.

Opinion polls consistently put Hollande comfortably ahead of Sarkozy in the presidential race.

 

 

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