French press review 2 October 2012
Who'll pay what to the French taxman next year? Is the government's debt target realistic? Why are French bosses whingeing?
Le Monde's cheery main headline reads "Taxation: everybody's going to suffer".
Some of them, 1,500 to be precise-ish, will do their suffering in comfort. These are the victims of the Socialists' super-tax, the 75 per cent rate which is to be applied to those who earn more than one million euros per year. The top rate will concern only the earnings above that first million, but the 1,500 people involved can expect to see their tax bills increase by an average of 140,000 euros.
At the other end of the income spectrum, according to Le Monde's analysis, a working family with two basic wages will see their tax obligations go up by just 100 euros.
But the middle classes are really going to be hammered.
A family with two management-level salaries, in other words, a total income of 8,000 euros per month, will see their tax bill go up by over 100 per cent. Further up the wage scale, the increases will be relatively less, mainly because rich people have always been good at getting away with daylight robbery.
Right-wing Le Figaro is delighted to announce that there are divisions on the political left about the advisability of trying to get the French public debt down to three per cent of gross domestic product by the end of next year.
Several top left-wing figures have spoken of an "unrealistic" target, while others worry that any further budgetary pressure will threaten the already creaking economy with recession.
Le Figaro's front page editorial is delighted to note that the left will probably need the support of the right-wing UMP to get the law ratifying the European budgetary treaty through parliament. Politics is, indeed, a funny old game.
Business daily Les Echos gives pride of place to a bunch of whingeing bosses. They're up in arms against budget changes which will oblige them to pay tax on profits they make by selling their businesses.
They already do pay, of course, a flat rate of 19 per cent whether the business involved is called Renault or Bill's Bikes. But the new deal will see that rate go up to 45 per cent in some cases.
What the whingers are not recognising is that they pay no tax at all if they reinvest the cash in another business operation.