Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

IREF Europe - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal issues

Fiscal competition
and economic freedom

Key Figures

Banque de France vs Bundesbank

The staff costs are higher at the Banque de France than in the Bundesbank! This is one of the conclusions of our comparative study “Banque de France vs Bundesbank”. On the one hand, 1.45 billion euros, in the other hand, 700 million euros! Regarding pension costs, the comparison also makes a (...)

28 millions French workers versus 14.5 millions who live off the State!

28 millions French workers versus 14.5 millions who live off the State!It is the stunning figure revealed by Jean-Philippe’s Delsol in his book "Why I Am Going To Leave France", an IREF bestseller.
Between the public sector (5.2 millions), the parapublic sector (2 millions), those who are granted the public allowance called "Active Solidarity Revenue" (1.3 (...)

United States: 800,000 Civil Servants Unemployed Means 212,000 Private Sector Jobs Created

United States: 800,000 Civil Servants Unemployed Means 212,000 Private Sector Jobs CreatedAbout 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 (...)

UK Corporate Tax: From 26% to 20% In 2016

UK Corporate Tax: From 26% to 20% In 2016As 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 (...)

US Tax Exile: 1130 US Citizens Gone

US Tax Exile: 1130 US Citizens Gone1,130: 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 (...)

Positive Opinion of the Administration: France vs Germany
50% against 73% favorable to the administration!

Positive Opinion of the Administration: France vs Germany 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 (...)

110 Billion Euros Waste: The Cost Of Inefficient French Government’s Assistance to Companies

110 Billion Euros Waste: The Cost Of Inefficient French Government's Assistance to CompaniesThe 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 (...)

Well-Being Ranking: France Is 18th on 34

Well-Being Ranking: France Is 18th on 34In 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 is first, followed by Sweden and Canada. It is (...)

10.8 Billion Euros Missing On The French Budget

10.8 Billion Euros Missing On The French Budget“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 (...)

4.9 billion euros

4.9 billion euros43 billion Swedish crowns . As stated by the Waste Ombudsman (Swedish Taxpayers’ Association), this is the amount erroneously paid out by the EU according to its Court of Auditors. These payments represent more than twice the amount that Swedish taxpayers send to Brussels every year.
For the (...)

€62 Billion

is the amount needed by Spanish banks to avoid the clash, revealed the Spanish government last week. This is supposed to be good news for European taxpayers who will have to rescue Spain with their tax money. Indeed, the initial estimation was about €100 (...)


This is the decrease in the rate of economic growth per capita that results from an increase in the tax revenue to GDP ratio by 10 percentage points. This is one of the findings of a study released by The Centre for Policy Studies from the UK, revealing significant statistical relationship (...)

€ 50 billion

This is the expected revenue from the financial transaction tax promoted by the EU. The proposal is expected to come into effect from 1st January 2014 and applies to the transactions carried out by financial institutions (banks, investment firms, insurance undertakings, collective investment (...)

£ 509 million

£ 509 millionis the drop of tax revenue in the UK compared with January 2011. The natural explanation that comes to mind is the increase of the marginal tax rate from 40 to 50% for incomes over £150 000, especially given the fact that most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same (...)

$ 4 trillion

This is the US debt reduction over the next 10 years claimed in President Obama’s latest budget proposal. After careful examination of this amount it appears nevertheless that the spending cuts composing this amount are at least "surprising". To read more about the Obama’s budget proposal see (...)

$ 1.543 billion

$ 1.543 billionis the amount of exposition of French banks to European countries’ private and public debt. They own for instance $106 billion of Italian public debt (which is six times higher than the amount held in Greek bonds), while $230 billion are held in Belgian government bonds. France is therefore (...)

€ 3 billion

This is the annual cost of one percentage point increase of the interest rates on French government bonds, according to the credit rating agency Moody’s. France is currently facing 2% higher rate for 10 years bonds than Germany, which is the unprecedented gap between the two countries’ interest (...)

€55 bn

€55 bnGermany has raised over a quarter of its total EFSF obligation of €211 billion by way of what is essentially magic. The Telegraph reports that "Germany is €55bn richer than it previously thought because of an accounting error at state-owned bank Hypo Real Estate Holding. Germany’s 2010 debt-to-GDP (...)

4 257

4 257is the number of new regulatory actions in the works in the United States. Even before those 4,257 new regulations go into effect, the Federal Register shows more than 81,000 pages of regulations, which result in compliance costs in excess of $1.7 trillion, according to the Competitive (...)


This is the number of times the American Congress raised the debt ceiling in the last ten years. This is revealing systemic problems and, at some point, the incapacity of the current political and legal arrangement to solve the debt (...)

€ 43 billion

is the amount that a new austerity plan is supposed to save to Italian public finances. The plan aims to bring Italy’s public deficit down to 0.2% of GDP by 2014 from 4.6 per cent in 2010 and to calm investors worried about Italian public (...)

€ 330 billion

This is the amount of the public debt of Greece. Officials from the Eurozone are debating right now the possibility to accord additional money to the Greek government in a desperate try to avoid a debt default.

$20 billion

This is the amount of money promissed to Egypt and Tunisia by the multilateral development banks at the G8 meeting. This will include grants under the EUs budget for its neighbourhood (7 Billion Euro, of which 1,24 Billion Euro is fresh money, proposed by the Commission this (...)


17Confirming the analysis found in IREF’s 2011 yearbook, the 2011 Paying Taxes report of the Price Waterhouse Coopers says that reducing rates of profit tax is the most popular tax reform in the world. Not less than 17 economies did this in (...)

$ 2 trillion

$ 2 trillionThis would be the annual interest on the USA public debt in 2021, according to the estimations made by the economist Veronique de Rugy. This number is nearly triple from the official projections, but much more realistic, since it takes into account the historical evolution of interest rates and (...)

$ 2.1 trillion

$ 2.1 trillionThis is the tax revenue expected by the USA this year, while interest payments on the publicly held debt will be about $200 billion. Contrary to the statements of the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, those figures exclude any risks of default. His position rather looks like an irresponsible (...)


145%This is the world economy real GDP expansion since 1980. It lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

$ 3 300 000 000 000

$ 3 300 000 000 000This is the cumulated budget deficit of the OECD countries in 2010. On average, it represents 7.5 GDP points.

190 714 500 000 €

190 714 500 000 €This is the amount of increase of the French public debt from 2008 to 2009. It represents 10 GDP points. While making a lot of noise about the 22 billion contracted for the recovery plan, the government kept quiet about the rest, that is, 168 714 500 000 € that went for current expenses of the (...)


This is the number of US government regulatory agencies for financial services before the 2008 crisis, according to Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff’s most recent book, Jimmy Stewart is Dead. Obviously, the crisis was not due to the lack of (...)

$ 3.40

This is the estimation of lost output for every dollar of government spending that made the University of Chicago’s professor Harald Uhlig in a paper published by the American Economic Review (May 2010).


44%This is the payroll tax paid on wages in Greece. 28% of it is born by employers and 16% by employees. It is not surprising that the unemployment rate in the country approaches 12%.

The American stock market index grew up with 69%

The American stock market index grew up with 69%69% is the annual growth estimated by Standard and Poor’s, one of the leading agencies for ratings. This is the sharpest rise of S&P 500 index (which is estimating the growth of the 500 biggest American companies) since … 1936.

United States Debt Clock

Wanna know how much is the US Government spending right now? Or how fast US debt growths? You should add on your favourite websites.

2 750 € for each French farmer

2 750 € for each French farmerWithout any preliminary consultation with the Parliament, the French President Sarkozy announced a subsidy of 1.65 € billions for the agricultural sector. It is hard to imagine where Sarkozy will find this money, given the current economic context and the quasi bankruptcy of the French (...)

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