IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
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The European Quagmire

Sylvain C,

The European Quagmire 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 (...)


European Banking (Dis)Union

Sylvain C,

European Banking (Dis)Union 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 (...)


United Kingdom: 2.8 jobs created in the private sector for 1 public job lost

Sylvain C,

United Kingdom: 2.8 jobs created in the private sector for 1 public job lost 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 created 1.4 million jobs. Even if the United (...)


Going Back to Basics: The Promotion of Free Trade

Sylvain C,

Going Back to Basics: The Promotion of Free Trade 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 (...)


The Knowledge Economy Enters GDP

Sylvain C,

The Knowledge Economy Enters GDP


Effects of taxation on European multi-nationals’ financing and profits

Sylvain C,

Effects of taxation on European multi-nationals' financing and profits 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 (...)


The Receipt for Government Services for 2013

Sylvain C,

The Receipt for Government Services for 2013


The Public Spending Trend Hampers The Economy

Sylvain C,

The Public Spending Trend Hampers The Economy 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 (...)


Less Taxes and More Pragmatism Against Tax Havens

Sylvain C,

Less Taxes and More Pragmatism Against Tax Havens 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 (...)


The Iron Lady: A Transformational Premiership

Sylvain C,

The Iron Lady: A Transformational Premiership


Small Governemnt vs Corruption

Jacques Garello,

Small Governemnt vs Corruption 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 (...)


A Green Economy or An Economy Painted in Green

Sylvain C,

A Green Economy or An Economy Painted in Green 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 (...)


France is doomed

Sylvain C,

France is doomed 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 (...)


Capital Control: A Threat on Free Markets

Sylvain C,

Capital Control: A Threat on Free Markets 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? (...)


Cypriot Crisis: The Rise of the German Economic Governance

Sylvain C,

Cypriot Crisis: The Rise of the German Economic Governance 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 (...)


Denmark: Corporate Tax Brought Down

Sylvain C,

Denmark: Corporate Tax Brought Down 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 (...)


Pay Slips: 6 lines in Germany, 20 lines in France

Sylvain C,

Pay Slips: 6 lines in Germany, 20 lines in France 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 France, it is the exact opposite. The French pay (...)


Lessons Drawn From The Swiss Referendum

Sylvain C,

Lessons Drawn From The Swiss Referendum 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 (...)


Fiscal Exodus or Fiscal Competition

Sylvain C,

Fiscal Exodus or Fiscal Competition


Bail Out and Bail In: Two Solutions for Cyprus

Sylvain C,


Cyprus’ Bailout

Sylvain C,

Cyprus' Bailout 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 (...)


Professional Training Reform: A New Financial System

Sylvain C,

Professional Training Reform: A New Financial System 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 (...)


The Patriotic Tax Incentive

Sylvain C,

The Patriotic Tax Incentive 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 (...)


The Truth About Foreign Investments in France

Sylvain C,

The Truth About Foreign Investments in France 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 (...)


The Civil Servants’ Working Time

Sylvain C,

The Civil Servants' Working Time The IREF figures on civil servants’ working time in the OECD countries were quoted in the radio show "Carrément Brunet" on RMC.


Taxing In and Out Of France

Sylvain C,

Taxing In and Out Of France


Innovations Need Companies, Not Government

Sylvain C,

Innovations Need Companies, Not Government 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 (...)


What’s Next On The Fiscal Trend?

Sylvain C,

What's Next On The Fiscal Trend? 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 (...)


A market for education: IREF study looks at the Swedish experience

Jacob Arfwedson,

A market for education: IREF study looks at the Swedish experience 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 (...)


Sweden: human development index higher in places with more immigrants

Jacob Arfwedson,

Sweden: human development index higher in places with more immigrants 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.


IKEA: low-cost, high-end and big bucks

Jacob Arfwedson,

IKEA: low-cost, high-end and big bucks 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 (...)


In France the legislative process is hijacked by those who depend on public money

Nicolas Lecaussin,

In France the legislative process is hijacked by those who depend on public money 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. (...)


Google vs. French taxes

Jacob Arfwedson,

Google vs. French taxes 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 (...)


Five reasons to abandon the French social dialogue

Jacob Arfwedson,

Five reasons to abandon the French social dialogue 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 (...)


6 Geese a-Laying
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas


5 Golden Rings
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


4 Calling Birds
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


12 Drummers Drumming
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


11 Pipers Piping
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


10 Lords a-Leaping
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


9 Ladies Dancing
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


8 Maids a-Milking
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


7 Swans a-Swimming
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

Petr Barton,


Season’s Greetings

Jacob Arfwedson,

Season's Greetings


Green jobs: a myth that destroys real jobs

Jacob Arfwedson,

Green jobs: a myth that destroys real jobs


France: is anybody there???

Jacob Arfwedson,

France: is anybody there??? 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 (...)


Lessons from a successful think tank

Jacob Arfwedson,

Lessons from a successful think tank


Hollande is right about cutting public spending

Jacob Arfwedson,

Hollande is right about cutting public spending 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 (...)


TPA launches petition to freeze business taxation

Jacob Arfwedson,

TPA launches petition to freeze business taxation 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 (...)


Romney or France’s Anti-Republican Obsession

Jacob Arfwedson,

Romney or France's Anti-Republican Obsession


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