France unveiled its 2013 budget on Friday, and the hallmark is a big “soak-the-rich” tax plan – a 75 per cent income tax rate on millionaires and a provision that treats all capital gains as ordinary income.
On the face of it, that may not sound so appalling. After all, if anyone can afford to pay more taxes, it’s the millionaires, right?
But the “little guys” are furious too. In an article for the Financial Times, Paris correspondent Hugh Carnegy says that French entrepreneurs are getting the short end of the stick with the new tax plan, and they are up in arms about it.
The cause of their ire is the government’s plan to tax capital gains at the same rates as earned income. Jean-David Chamboredon, chief executive of ISAI, a venture capital fund, and leader of an investors’ lobby group called France Digitale, said the result in some cases would be a jump in the effective marginal tax rate to as high as 60 per cent from 32 per cent for investors and entrepreneurs selling out of a business.
“This is very dangerous because investors may not invest in new companies any more,” he said.
In an online statement of their objections, Les Pigeons said the measure amounted to the “breaking of dreams, an almost sadistic demotivation”.
The group of entrepreneurs calls themselves “Les Pigeons,” or “The Pigeons,” which Carnegie says translates roughly to “the fall guys” in English.
And their Facebook page is blowing up – the group has more than 25,000 “likes” on their Facebook page since it was created on Friday:
Count the French among the unhappy with austerity.