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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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, (...)
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, (...)
"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 (...)
“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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
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 (...)
These figures, calculated by the IREF, point out what is happening in the United Kingdom governed by Premier David Cameron. Since the Tories arrived in power in 2010, between 500.000 and 600.000 public jobs disappeared while the private sector (...)
Big Governments usually do not trust people or companies to improve living conditions. That is why notions of “social justice”, “solidarity”, “equality” and above all “sharing” were hijacked by Governments and turned into an economic principle: redistribution. Since it is believed the Government is the only organization that can be fair and would share wealth without any interests of its own, (...)
Knowledge has now become a capital investment and no longer a cost of producing goods. This change has been announced by Brent Moulton, head of national accounts at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), on April 22nd, 2013. This will change the way gross domestic products are calculated. It will lead to an immediate 3% growth in the United States’ (...)
The new IREF paper of Stefan Lutz, from the University of Manchester, UK, and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, points out that if it is apparent that companies do not welcome taxation, the main reason is that taxes reduce profits: shareholders are disappointed and the prospects for investments and development are penalized. This paper, however, concentrates on how companies react (...)
Richard Durana, Ph.D, director of Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) has annouced that INESS released the Receipt for Government Services for 2013. The annual price of the state for Slovakia increased by EUR 322 (7.3%) and reached EUR 4,704 per citizen.
France is the best example of this economic truth. The French public sector is undermining the economy. It must be pointed out that in Spain and Ireland the crisis was due to a real-estate bubble. In France, the crisis is worsened by an obese bureaucracy. The trend is striking: the French public sector is growing faster than the private sector since (...)
Here is a new and big campaign against tax havens. But tax exile will last as long as confiscatory and arbitrary taxes will last. It is the case in France. Should not a tax amnesty be proposed? The IREF is making the proposal that all sorting out that has begun this year should reach an agreement within a short delay and be adjusted at a standard cost of 50% of the total incomes (interests, (...)
“She did not just lead our country; she saved our country” said British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron as a tribute Margaret Thatcher who died at 87, on April 8th, 2013. Tony Blair, former British Labor Prime Minister, declared: “Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. And some of the changes she (...)
Corruption! A word that is destroying the base of the Government action. Above the “Cahuzac Case”, it is the whole public power that is stained with doubt and distrust. The clear and present danger is the rise of uncontrolled populisms seeking the collapse of a corrupt Government. But this would lead nowhere. The real solution lies in setting up a Small Government and the implementation of the (...)
What if the « green economy » was just a joke? It has become trendy to label every activity as green. Thus environmentalism seems to be at the heart of the economy. Lucas Léger, IREF researcher, analyzed the Happy Planet Index and reveals the trick.
Nicolas Lecaussin analyzed the French President François Hollande’s interview on March 28 on TV. Nothing has come out of it: no reform, no tax decreases, no incentives. On the contrary, as Nicolas Lecaussin pointed out, François Hollande "stubbornly continues on the path of tax hikes and proposals remote from economic (...)
This is an unexpected outcome of the Cypriot “bail out – bail in”. The fact that the Cypriot Government is now able to control money transfers and cash withdrawals is a threat for the European market. Can it still be called a free market if restrictions are applied on the ability to move money? Isn’t it also a denial of property (...)
The Cypriot crisis has enthroned Germany has the leading European country. European economics are likely to be German driven from now on. Thus, fiscal profligacy or faulty business models are considered to have caused the recent crisis and the German cure to this is clear: austerity and structural reforms must be enforced. Cyprus was first on the (...)
Nicolas Lecaussin has pointed out in a recent article that, after Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland, Denmark is also bringing down its corporate tax: 22% whereas France still is at 34.4%. But there is more: this measure is included in a “growth plan” aiming at giving more freedom to entrepreneurs and (...)
6 lines against 20! In Germany, the gross salary is taxed by only few contributions (tax on salaries, solidarity, pension fee, Church). It was understood that flexibility is much more efficient with a fiscal and regulatory simplification. In (...)
Jean-Philippe Delsol pointed out on a recent article the problem of democracy in Europe. Instead of having Nanny-States trying to control its people, let the people speak its own mind.The Swiss referendum on executives’ high wages is the perfect example of a people using Democracy as it should without being monitored by political (...)
Gilles Hennesy, an LVMH director who is executive vice-president of commercial at Moët Hennesy, and Christophe Navarre, chief executive of Moët Hennesy, are both moving to London. Bernard Charlès, chief executive of Dassault Systèmes, declared that some Dassault’s top managers already from France to other countries for fiscal reasons. The press is talking about fiscal exodus, yet it is not (...)
If an agreement could not be found with the previous Cyprus communist-led government, negotiations resumed intensively between the Troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank and the newly elected President Nicos Anastasiades. The Euro zone is again at stake: Cyprus’ bailout would amount to 17 billion euros, equal to Cyprus’ annual economic output. But (...)
The European Union is about to bail out Cyprus but no details on how it could be done are released yet. Joerg Asmussen, ECB board member, announced that “the troika of European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank would send a mission of experts to Cyprus on Tuesday for a technical analysis of the country’s financing needs and to get a better understanding of the new (...)
The “Personal Professional Training Account” is one of the most interesting measures taken in the reform of the professional training sector announced by President François Hollande on March 4th in Blois, France. It is the first time that the “voucher principle” would be applied for the use of public money by workers. Yet, the way the measure is to be implemented may not be satisfactory to allow a (...)
Diesel cars should eventually disappear in France. According to the French Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes) the fact that gas oil is less expensive than regular unleaded gas causes a loss of 7 billion euros for the Government. Things must change. Yet, it is not that easy: 60% of the French cars are diesel cars and 80% of gas consumption is gas (...)
Are there as many foreign investments in France as Arnaud Montebourg claimed in his letter to Maurice Taylor? In his article, Lucas Léger, IREF researcher, analyzed statistical data and concluded that Montebourg was wrong. The truth is that, compared to the United Kingdom and Germany, France is no longer (...)
The IREF figures on civil servants’ working time in the OECD countries were quoted in the radio show "Carrément Brunet" on RMC.
Fighting tax exile: this is Yann Galut’s aim. This French Socialist representative is at the head of a Committee created in the National Assembly to think out measures against tax exile. The work of this committee should end up in bills introduced in the Parliament as soon as May.
In a recent article, Lucas Léger, an IREF associate researcher, pointed out that even if the research is a French Government priority, entrepreneurship and innovation are not supported and the basic research would better off without Government intervention.
Jean-Philippe Delsol has published an op-ed in the French newspaper Les Echos on February 20th about the relationship between entrepreneurs and the French fiscal administration.
The IREF Study on the free school system and the use of vouchers was quoted in the Italian information website Il Post. Read the article.
The IREF’s aim is to defend and promote economic freedom and fiscal competition. Our aim goes against the OECD’s last study that was commissioned by the G20 and called “Addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting”. It will be presented on February 15th at the G20 Summit in Moscow. The OECD claims that “global solutions are needed to ensure that tax systems do not unduly favour multinational (...)
Prof. Enrico Colombatto (Turin), IREF scientific director, has provided his update on EU policies. This month, he describes sovereign bailouts, the probable change of monetary policies, and the repayment of ECB loans. Domestic. How are the high profile struggling countries faring – Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland? Despite the January media narrative that the worst of the crisis is over (...)
The Swedish education market is one of the freest of the world. As such, it is one of the most interesting to study. Authored by Jacob Arfwedson, the IREF report “Vouchers and Free Schools: the Swedish Experience” provides striking insights into the dynamics of a budding free market in schooling.
Commentators often tend to link immigration to social problems and high unemployment. But as shown by the Swedish Reform Institute in a comprehensive study published in January 2013, this is not the case, on the contrary.
By Jacob Arfwedson For global capitalism to reach optimal eclosion, there are several basic conditions: > free trade: companies are allowed to sell wherever they sense a profitable opportunity; > the tech revolution: production may take place anywhere, whereas selling may be done thousands of miles from the point of production; > open communications: without a reasonably modern (...)
Between 3 and 5 per cent of the members of Parliament, and 6 per cent of the senators: the parliamentarians with a background in business represent a tiny minority. An IREF study shows the contrast with four other countries where economic legislation is handled by people who know what it means. In France, the elected representatives are chiefly interested in tax (...)
By Alexandre Diehl, Lawyer and IREF research Fellow For the past few weeks, and as Google has announced “bad” results on the financial markets, the media are gurgling with strange and technical news on a possible tax audit for the company. What is going on? Has Google broken the law, or are the French yet again attacking a success story out of envy? Has the government found another (...)
By Nicolas Lecaussin In France the national economy and the fate of thousands of employees are regularly linked to the grand “social conference”. Successive presidents have paid tribute to the ritual of “social dialogue”. Nicolas Sarkozy did so several times during his presidency with well-known results: the unions firmly opposed the timid attempts at reform and finally called for a vote for (...)
A petition was submitted by French MPs to the Constitutional Council regarding the limitation on the wealth tax and the new regulations which were to take into account "virtual" incomes. On 28 November 2012, IREF and the French Taxpayers Association addressed an argumentary (see attachment in French) to the members of the National Assembly, urging them to seize the Constitutional Council in (...)
Celebrating that the end of the world has been temporarily postponed (presumably due to government planning) the IREF Paris team wishes you Happy Holidays. In lieu of Season’s Greetings, our Swedish and German colleagues have devised Calendars, revealing both government waste and clever advice on taxes. These may be viewed online at Skattebetalarna and (...)
By Nicolas Lecaussin The French government recently announced the creation of 100 000 green jobs over the next three years. The goal is of course to stem rising unemployment. However, the tangible results of creating green jobs in several countries, as well as the real costs of these jobs, should have given food for thought before taking action. In France, an IREF study (“Les mythes des (...)
By Jean-Philippe Delsol The fiscal frenzy which has seized the French socialists not only means that the economy grinds to a halt. It is attacking the very foundations of society by destroying entrepreneurship and responsibility. Taxes are raining on the people and the promised shelters often disappear before they have even been introduced. The 2013 finance bill has announced confiscatory (...)
The founder of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr. Madsen Pirie, visited IREF on Thursday 15 November to present his book Think Tank: The Story of the Adam Smith Institute (Biteback Publishing, 2012) After discussing the specificity of the think tank as an independent influence on policy, and the nuts and bolts of policy-making during Thatcherism in the UK, Madsen Pirie offered the following (...)
At his press conference on Tuesday 13 November, François Hollande declared that, “Returning to a balanced budget essentially means looking to spending cuts rather than tax increases. Are we better off with 57 per cent of GDP of public spending, whereas it was 52 per cent five years ago?” He is right. This is common sense coming from a socialist president who set out with a policy of tax hikes, (...)
The Taxpayers’ Alliance has launched a petition on its website (freezebusinessrates.org) to enable taxpayers to appeal to their members of Parliament on business rates. Corporate taxation in the United Kingdom rose by 4.6 per cent in 2011, by 5.5 per cent in 2012. Yet the coalition government seems set to implement a further 2.6 per cent hike in April (...)
In his book The Anti-American Obsession, philosopher Jean-François Revel exposed French fantasies and clichés on the United States and towards its President. It is customary in France to poke fun at US Presidents, treating them like morons who have gotten elected head of state in some miraculous fashion: Nixon was thus a dangerous reactionary, Carter simply a “peanut salesman”, Reagan “an (...)
Our colleagues at the TPA have campaigned successfully against union subsidies. This means that the number of civil servants working for the unions at the taxpayers’ expense will now be reduced sharply. Currently, 0.26 per cent of the payroll in (...)
Swedbank has calculated what Swedes already knew: taxes are by far the largest budget item for any household. An individual earning SEK 25,000 per month pays SEK 17,500 in taxes (of which SEK 6,100 to the municipality, SEK 4,300 in pension dues, SEK 3,380 to the health care authority and SEK 3,360 to the central (...)
As tax revenues are flooding into the Treasury, the German taxpayers’ association (BdSt) has asked the federal government to axe the "stealth" tax increases and to cut spending further. Current estimates show that tax revenues will be substantially higher than previously thought: a record 600 billion euros in 2012 and 700 billion euros in 2017. The BdSt considers that some 27 billion euros (...)
IREF has examined the provisions of the French government’s 2013 budget proposal, and concludes that these are confiscatory and arbitrary. Henceforth taxpayers will be subject to taxation on revenues of which they do not dispose, and forced to pay taxes that are above the corresponding incomes. Under these circumstances, IREF will endeavour to facilitate an appeal on this kind of taxation (...)
As eloquently stated by The Economist (13 October 2012), "the textbooks children learn from in school reveal and shape national attitudes - and should provoke debate. The survey "Textbooks around the world" cites IREF’s recent study on French (...)
By Nicolas Lecaussin Can you imagine that unemployment has been “priority number one” for French politicians over the past 35 years! Left, right and center have all claimed that their first objective was to reduce unemployment, in particular among young people. Yet they have failed every time. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy regularly repeated that “the French social model has protected us (...)
Jean-Philippe Delsol Tax lawyer, deputy director of IREF The government’s goal of reducing the budgetary deficit to 3 per cent of GDP is commendable, even though such a deficit will inevitably increase the French public debt as growth will be low or even close to zero. However, the tools applied are both unjust and (...)
Despite being bombed by information, it seems we have forgotten the roots of the debt crisis. Instead we play a martingale game, where the only precaution after losing a round is to double the bet for the next one. The solution is not called EFSM, EFSF, ESM, SMP, OMT or banking union. These are just different names for a single problem: diluted responsibility. Unless we find a way to make (...)
An old American joke has it that hell is where the Swedes are in charge of entertainment. But the last laugh in fiscal policy matters in Europe will probably go to Swedish legislators as they vote for implementing a reduction of corporate income taxes (CIT).
The hyped rhetoric following the future Belgian exile of LVMH owner Bernard Arnault is no surprise to anyone well-versed in the French psyche.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance has published a summary of its final report, proposing a Single Income Tax to tax streams of income once. As stated by Allister Heath, Chairman of the TPA Tax Commission, "the old order is broken and needs radical reform. But we are also realists: our proposals, while far-reaching, are (...)
In response to the financial crisis in the euro zone, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) has worked out and submitted to public institutions a plan which would help countries potentially exiting the euro zone to build stable and sound money. LFMI‘s proposal can be also used by the euro zone when attempting to strengthen the euro and to restore people‘s confidence in the single (...)
How far should redistribution go? Who should pay for it and how? What is the proper role of the State and what is better left to private initiative? Should insolvent banks be bailed-out? Is it better to tax individuals when they consume or as soon as they earn their income? Should we rely on taxation to bent individuals’ behaviour towards a cleaner, safer life (sin taxes and fat taxes)? Every (...)
This paper is excerpted from the forthcoming "IREF’s Yearbook on Taxation" 2012 On July 6 the Berlusconi government passed a first package of mandating modest immediate cuts in the expenditure and similarly modest immediate increases in tax revenue to address concerns on the capacity of Italy to serve its huge public debt. Because this was not enough to reassure markets, the government had (...)
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