Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
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Online Articles

The Patriotic Tax Incentive

The Patriotic Tax IncentiveDiesel 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

The Truth About Foreign Investments in FranceAre 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

The Civil Servants' Working TimeThe 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

Taxing In and Out Of FranceFighting 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 (...)

Innovations Need Companies, Not Government

Innovations Need Companies, Not GovernmentIn 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?

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

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

Sweden: human development index higher in places with more immigrantsCommentators 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

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

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

Google vs. French taxesBy 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

Five reasons to abandon the French social dialogueBy 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

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

5 Golden Rings
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

4 Calling Birds
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

12 Drummers Drumming
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

11 Pipers Piping
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

10 Lords a-Leaping
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

9 Ladies Dancing
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

8 Maids a-Milking
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

7 Swans a-Swimming
Twelve Days of Fiscal Christmas

This article is from our mini-series looking at modern fiscal issues surrounding items listed in the famous 18th century English carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”. We believe that if the list can be used as an index measure of monetary inflation, it can equally well be used as an indicator of how (...)

Season’s Greetings

Season's GreetingsCelebrating 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 (...)

Green jobs: a myth that destroys real jobs

Green jobs: a myth that destroys real jobsBy 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, (...)

France: is anybody there???

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

Lessons from a successful think tankThe 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 (...)

Hollande is right about cutting public spending

Hollande is right about cutting public spendingAt 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

TPA launches petition to freeze business taxationThe 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

Romney or France's Anti-Republican ObsessionIn 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 (...)

Taxpayers Alliance against union subsidies

Taxpayers Alliance against union subsidiesOur 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 the Civil Service is spent on union (...)

Taxes are the largest expense for Swedes

Taxes are the largest expense for SwedesSwedbank 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 (...)

The German taxpayers’ association demands a rebate

The German taxpayers' association demands a rebateAs 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 (...)

French budget 2013: IREF moves to appeal to the Constitutional Council

French budget 2013: IREF moves to appeal to the Constitutional CouncilIREF 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. (...)

The greatest achievement of French statism: high unemployment

The greatest achievement of French statism: high unemploymentBy 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. (...)

The French 2013 budget: fiscal iniquity and inefficiency

The French 2013 budget: fiscal iniquity and inefficiencyJean-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 (...)

The same euro mistake under a different name

The same euro mistake under a different nameDespite 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 (...)

Sweden to slash corporate income tax

Sweden to slash corporate income taxAn 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 (...)

Warning: Last Exit to Belgium

Warning: Last Exit to BelgiumThe hyped rhetoric following the future Belgian exile of LVMH owner Bernard Arnault is no surprise to anyone well-versed in the French psyche.

The Single Income Tax

The Single Income TaxThe 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 (...)

A Plan for Sound Money

A Plan for Sound MoneyIn 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 (...)

Yearbook 2012

Yearbook 2012How 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 (...)

Italy in the tax turmoil

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 (...)

Ireland on the way to recovery

Ireland on the way to recoveryThis paper is excerpted from the forthcoming "IREF’s Yearbook on Taxation" 2012
In an unprecedented and historical move, the European Union forced the Irish government against its stated wishes to indebt itself in an € 85 billion international bailout comprising of the IMF, EU and bilateral (...)

Sweet Drop on Gauche Caviar: Chronology of the Portugese workers day saga

Sweet Drop on Gauche Caviar: Chronology of the Portugese workers day sagaPortugal is traditionally a leftist country. Since the Carnation Revolution in 1974, in which the Left threw out the fascist government of Marcelo Caetano, it is fashionable in Portugal to be leftist and being labeled socialist. If a proof was needed, in the 2011 elections, all 6 parties in (...)

French 2011 fiscal reforms in retrospect

French 2011 fiscal reforms in retrospectThis paper is excerpted from the forthcoming "IREF’s Yearbook on Taxation" 2012
In view of the great fragility of French public finances, all the candidates to the April 2012 Presidential elections have felt the necessity to explain their strategy to put the country back on track, if elected. (...)

Lessons from Lithuanian austerity

Lessons from Lithuanian austerityIn recent years, the Baltic States have been showcased as an austerity success story. While the whole world has seen countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal struggling to reduce their public spending, Lithuania has been hailed as an austerity example. Lithuanian success in public spending (...)

The Spanish Corporate Income Tax Hike Will Hurt Economic Recovery

Last March 30, the Spanish Government announced its most important measures to reduce the fiscal deficit for 2012. These actions have been based on reducing public spending and, again, increasing taxes. “Again” because on December 30, 2011, the conservative new Government already raised the (...)

The Euro: A Community of Shared Destiny?

The Euro: A Community of Shared Destiny?In March 2010, when the Greek debt crisis was heating up, then-ECB president Jean Claude Trichet declared to the EU parliament that the “monetary Union in Europe is far more than a monetary arrangement. It is a union of shared destiny”. Less than two months later the ECB reversed its refusal to (...)

Urgent Tax Measures Needed by the Spanish Economy

Urgent Tax Measures Needed by the Spanish EconomyAs is publicly known, Mariano Rajoy, leader of the Spanish Partido Popular, recently became president of the Spanish government. Mr. Rajoy is poised to introduce new measures needed by the Spanish economy in order to, in first instance, stop the bleeding (in general terms, but in particular (...)

A few recommendations to Spain’s new leader

A few recommendations to Spain's new leader“What would you (try to) do to save your country from economic collapse?” This is indeed a difficult and tricky question, and one that is normally answered along the lines of interventionist economic thinking. The fatal conceit that Hayek wrote about is embedded in this same question: it assumes (...)

Individual Rights and the Fight Against “Tax Evasion”

Individual Rights and the Fight Against “Tax Evasion”The emergence of a global government cartel without any restrictions to tax and spend their citizens’ wealth would lead to a world that is less free and less prosperous. The financial and economic crisis that unfolded from 2008 has led many governments to intensify their efforts against what has (...)

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