The yearly report on the evolution of European tax systems
A short presentation of IREF ’Yearbook on Taxation in Europe’ Series Among the many ways to understand the climate of opinion and the culture of a country, looking at its fiscal system is one of the most rewarding. Sure, fiscal systems almost always rhyme with complexity; each system bearing the weight of its history. But the attempts to change the system, to give it a new direction, are highly (...)
In the media
The Laffer Effect Has (Also) Arrived In France
This long-debated concept by policy makers and economists is coming back. That is because the Government believes that prosperity cannot be recovered without a strict “austerity policy”. But it actually means higher taxes only. Yet, the latest concerns of the French National Assembly on a substantial fall of tax revenues for 2013 raise the question again: has France reached the top of Laffer’s (...)
Raise Taxation Now And Fix The Banking Problem Later
More taxation, more banking supervision, more bail-in than bail-out, more banking malpractice... This month newsletter summarizes the trends that are leading the banking world.
France hosted in the November 15th week a summit dedicated to the "Fight Against Youth Unemployment." This is an excellent initiative for a country where the 16-25 years-old population reached a 26.1 % unemployment rate. Yet, France should be doing what is being done elsewhere, especially in Germany, where the rate of youth unemployment is three times lower than in France: 7.7 (...)
About a month ago, the United States experienced the "Shutdown" for 15 days. Several jurisdictions were closed and about 800,000 employees have been laid off because no agreement was reached on the budget. The Democrats and President Obama cried about the paralysis of the economy in order to end the "shutdown". In fact, the US economy has not been affected by the shutdown. More: the US economy even experienced an upturn. According to the data on the third quarter, U.S. GDP grew by 2.8% and (...)
As shown in the Report of the IREF on Taxation in Europe, many countries have lowered their corporate tax. The UK is among them. The corporate tax will gradually decrease: 23% in 2013/14, 21% in 2014/15 and 20% in 2015/16. It must be an example for countries as France…
1,130: here is the number of Americans who gave up their citizenship and left the US territory. Taxation made them leave. Who said the US was a tax haven? It is true that tax pressure on individuals and companies is much lighter than in France. Furthermore there is a real tax competition between the States. Yet, it is not sufficient. Many American taxpayers left because of Obama’s policy and tax increases. Thus, in Q2 of this year, 1130 US taxpayers gave up their citizenship because of (...)
According to the Harris Interactive poll for Le Figaro daily and LCP television, French President Hollande would not be reelected in 2017. His fiscal policies are highly criticized and would cost him his reelection. It seems that Holland is discovering this principle : the more taxes, the less votes. Yet, if he is not reelected, what would be next?
Attacks against wealthy people are still going on in spite of the fact the Welfare-State is plundering taxpayers. In a recently published book, sociologists – I should say ideologists – Michel and Monique Pionçon-Charlot are criticizing those they call "deliquents". No, wealthy people are not offenders or delinquent. They are above all those who create jobs.
50% against 73% favorable to the administration!
According to a Eurobarometer / TNS Opinion, only 50% of the French people have a good opinion of their government whereas 46% have a bad opinion (4% are undecided). In Germany, the government gathers 73% favorable opinion and 23% unfavorable opinions (4% were undecided). Yet, in 2013 public spending in Germany reach 45.4% of GDP against 57.2% in France. A huge difference - 12 points - which does not contribute to the improvement of our public sector. That is a good reason to reduce (...)
Something is rotten in the European Union! It looks like a hide and seek game, where countries and banks are playing a very dangerous game for the citizens’ future. Thus, between political instabilities, stealthy defaults, unhealthy and reckless banks and a real estate market that is artificially boucing back, there are many concerns about the EU’s future.
The crisis of the world economy since 2008 has encouraged various governments to increase the share of public spending. This increase was a general phenomenon among the OECD countries and contributed to an unprecedented debt hike. An IREF study comparing the development of key economic indicators over the recent period (1997-2011) for some 30 OECD member countries makes it possible to update the link between public spending and economic growth in the light of the first impact of deficit (...)
Reforming is a path for reelection: German Chancellor Angela Merkel privatized, deregulated, capitalized. She did not reflate nor accepted deficits : she reduced taxes. For sure, there are some lessons to learn for France.
John Galt in The Netherlands?
"A nation with a small but strong government which gives people the space they need": this what Dutch King Wilhem-Alexander wants for his people. And it has become a domestic policy on September 17th, 2013. The King has a life-time in front of him to consider the social, economic and political evolutions of society. Unlike an elected President, he does not have only a handful of years poisoned by the lurking idea of reelection for another handful of years to propose or back policies. That (...)
The more freedom, the better the assessments ! That are the global conclusions of Sylvain Charat, Ph.D when comparing the European data base on school systems Eurydice and the OECD Pisa assessment data base. The freedom of education is measured (...)
The Eurozone Recovery? Is It real?
In the two months since we last reported, the media has focussed on the rebound in the EU area, where in the second quarter GDP grew at an annualised rate of 1.1%. The atmosphere has been optimistic, so optimistic, that even the Aug 20 confirmation by Germany’s Finance Minister Schaueble that Greece will default again caused barely a ripple. Even the stock market wobbles over fears of military conflict with Syria were muted (Dow Jones down 4.4% in August). The roundly castigated term (...)
While Ireland may exit its bailout program at the end of this year, Greece is far from getting out of it. Around 10 to 11 billion euros ($13.1-14.4 billion) from the second half of 2014 will be needed to keep it going next year and in 2015. This will be the Third Act of the economic tragedy unfolding in Greece. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Finance Minister, confirmed to the European Parliament that "as far as the potential need for a third program for Greece is concerned, it’s clear that (...)
This is the transaltion of an article published by Nicolas Lecaussin on August 14th, 2013 What is the common point between Socialists as Claude Bartolone, President of the French National Assembly, Pierre Moscovici, the Finance Minister, MP Jérôme Guedj, Conservatives as Xavier Bertrand, Health minister during the Sarkozy Presidency, Environmentalists as European MP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Nationalists as Marine Le Pen, President of the National Front and her speaker Florian Philippot, and the (...)
This is the translation of an op-ed published by Jean-Philippe Delsol on August 24th, 2013 in the leading French newspaper “Le Figaro”. In France, during the last 30 years, social spending went from 21% to 33%. It is the sign of an ever growing Big Government that is out of control and unbearable. Thus, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out, Europe “gathers 7% of the world population, 20% of the production and 50% of social spending”, and France has the spending leadership. According (...)
"There will have to be another program in Greece," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said bluntly on August 20th. The two previous bail-outs amounted to about 240 billion euros but that was not enough. According to the International Monetary Fund, one the Troika member, the estimated uncovered funding needed by Greece for 2014-2015 may amount to 10.9 billion euros.
“The youth is the utmost priority of my mandate”. Thus spoke François Hollande on January 23, 2013, when wishing a happy new year 2013. “Happy” may not have been the right term, “subsidized” should have been better. Indeed, when saying that 500 000 young people below 25 years-old do not have a job, that 25% of them are unemployed, the French President does not think that entrepreneurship is the solution. On the contrary, for him the Government must spend more money to help create jobs. And (...)
The critical situation of most state-pension schemes plays a key role in explaining the public-finance crises that characterize many West-European countries. Although most observers refrain from advocating full privatization, it is now widely accepted that pension schemes – both private and public — should be run according the Defined Contribution (DC) principle, as opposed to the Defined Benefit (DB) one. In particular, the DC principle prescribes that the amount of the pension must be an (...)
By Gordon Kerr and Kevin Dowd, with Enrico Colombatto
Leaders, institutions and markets are all looking for guidance to get out of the present crisis. Government confidence is at stake, institutions’ credibility is jeopardized and banking is close to fraud and collusion.
Nicolas Lecaussin was quoted by The Economist (July 6th - Juy12th, 2013) about a report written with Lucas Léger on French high school economic textbooks. "The IREF study last year" said the Economist, "showed that, in one tome’s 382 pages, only (...)
European Union finance ministers failed to reach a deal last week on this controversial issue. Germany and France are at odds about costs distribution. The Banking Union is at stake since this law on rescuing and closing banks in the EU is a key point. The problem is to know who is going to decide what will happen to a failing bank and who will pay for it.
The French Government supporting private companies thanks a system of financial assistance: what an economic heresy! Yet, over the last thirty years, it has become the creed for French Governments, whether conservative of leftist. Four figures are to be pointed out:
Welcome to the clubs! Why should they join? The crisis is not over and doubts about the virtues of the EU and the euro abound. It may therefore seem surprising that not only are more countries seeking to join the EU, but also that some are (...)
In which country would you live best? In France, amid interventionist politicians and cocooned by a Big Government? Not at all… The last OECD data about the well-being in the member States has ranked 34 countries. France is ranked… 18th. Australia (...)
“If I have less money, I shouldn’t spend less but tax more”. That is exactly what the French President François Hollande and his Government are doing. Economic principles are obviously upside down. That is the result of socialist economic policies denying reality: the French budget was established on the assumption that taxpayers would continue to spend money as if there were no crisis and as if tax revenues were some kind of annuity. This error can be lethal for French (...)
Why would you stay in a country where there are more than 200 types of taxes? And in which taxes are piled up and never removed. If French President François Hollande and his government want to fight against tax havens, French taxpayers and entrepreneurs are battling against the daily tax hell they are living in.
This an IREF study of 30 countries from 1997 to present.
Over 30 to 35% og GDP, except in Scandinavian countries, taxpayers refuse to cover public spending over a 70% threshold. Governemts that have high public spending are entrapped in deficit and debt. Stimulus policies failed. True economic stimulus can be found by less regulation and less public intervention. OECD data are used for population, GDP, employment, working time, investment, trade, spending, revenues and debt. Read study : Relance et (...)
The IREF with "Contribuables Associés", the largest French taxpayers association, published a study showing how fiscal pressure destroys employment. The main figures of the study reveal the Government lethal action on companies and jobs: > 12.2 bn € of new corporate taxes > Tax burden making a 0.5% GDP decrease > 99.500 jobs destroyed in 2012, 160.000 scheduled t be destroyed in 2013 > 70.000 jobs destroyed because of tax burden increase in 2013 > 21.5% in big companies and 78.5% in middle (...)
Competitiveness is embedded in the private sector. Employment is created only the private sector. Wealth increases through the private sector. No public intervention can manage to replace the private sector, no Government know how to make business and money. As a consequence, the real economy of a country relies on its private sector, not on the Government. Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho understood this fact and decreased dramatically corporate tax from 25% to (...)
Since events related to financial, banking, and debt crises regularly make it into the news, a term that seemingly originated from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in the late 1970s has become more popular: macroprudential supervision. Whereas microprudential supervision relates to the oversight of individual market participants (e.g. banks), macroprudential policy relates to the supervision of an entire system (e.g. the financial (...)
Globalization is often associated with delocalization and unfair competition with emergent countries that are flooding us with cheap goods and services regardless of good environmental practices or social benefits these populations should enjoy, like in rich countries. Beyond this spurious assessment hinge the even more fallacious concept of reciprocity that justifies a new form of protectionism and trade tariffs. The last blow to international trade stems from Brussels and its decision to (...)
Newsletter #5, by Kevin Dowd and Gordon Kerr with Enrico Colombatto The May Newsletter explains the austerity concerns heralded during April, the European Banking Union issue, the coming implementation of the Tobin Tax and the fact that there was no major banking fatalities during the month.
In a recent post, Nicolas Lecaussin is pointing out that tax consequences can be studied as in a lab: some American States can be observed. Taxes were lowered in thirty States. If they gather only 20% of the US population, they have created 65% of US jobs.
“A recession can be a good time to grow a business”. Thus is the opinion of Lord Young, a British cabinet minister under late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and still having his own office in Downing Street. Lord Young’s comments are stated in a report to be published this week and addressed to Prime Minister David Cameron. It is obvious that Lord Young stands for a “creative destruction” and is actually stating an economic truth. But truth is not always welcomed by unions and especially by (...)
The Friedman Foundation has published a report about the 22 American States that enforce school choice thanks to vouchers. Children’s work is better, teaching’s quality has improved and the overall cost of the school system is cheaper which is a benefit to low-income families.
The European Commission’s forecasts are gloomy: a 0.1% decrease of European GDP in 2013 as a 0.4% decrease for the Eurozone. It seems that, one after the other, all the member states are collapsing and get trapped into economical disarray. The European Commission gives more time for France and Netherlands to reduce their deficits, but Slovenia is on the edge of explosion while Cyprus, Spain and Italy are very far from recovering. Europe has become the “Sick Man of the (...)
Germany and Finance Minister Wolfgand Schäuble do not press for setting up a banking union and rejects a centralized authority whereas France and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici are urging to set up the banking union through centralization. The latter position is also the Commission’s. The Eurozone financial convergence will prove to be complex: European negotiations are at a crossroad not knowing which paths to take (...)