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France plans tax cuts to quell yellow vest anger

April 9, 2019 5:13 am

The French prime minister says cutting taxes must be a priority, in response to a national debate that focused on the yellow vest protesters’ grievances.

Edouard Philippe said “the debate clearly shows us in which direction we need to go: we need to lower taxes and lower them faster”.

The “great debate” involved 10,000 meetings in French community halls and about two million online contributions.

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France has the highest taxation rate among developed countries.

Data from the OECD economic think-tank for 2017 shows France top, with taxes equivalent to 46.2% of national output (GDP), with Denmark second (46%) and Sweden third (44%).

But France also has the highest level of social spending, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

That spending was 31.2% of GDP in France in 2018; in second place was Belgium (28.9%) and third was Finland (28.7%). The UK figure was 20.6%.

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