France’s wealth tax has driven 10,000 people with about 35 billion euros ($41 billion) in capital abroad in the past 15 years, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.
The tax – currently applies to personal assets of more than 1.3 million euros – is being changed in the budget presented by Philippe’s government this week. As promised by President Emmanuel Macron in the election campaign, the tax will now only apply to real estate, meaning other forms of wealth such as shareholdings in companies will be exempted starting next year.
“When someone leaves the country because of the wealth tax… collectively all French lose,” Philippe said. And changing that “is something I’ll defend,” he said.
Shortly after the United Kingdom’s latest big tax hike, Great Britain’s millionaires started voting with their feet. And the result hasn’t been pretty for the British treasury.
Raising the country’s top income tax rate to 50 percent has cost the UK 7 billion pounds — about $11.2 billion — since 2010, according to London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, as wealthy taxpayers have intentionally worked less, deferred income to future years, moved their earnings overseas or left the country entirely.
Whatever the reason, the British treasury has been the big loser.
“Tax paid by the top earners fell from 13.4 billion pounds before the top tax rate came in to 6.5 billion pounds in 2010/11,” The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown pushed the tax increase through Parliament before the 2010 elections swept his liberal Labour Party from power. During the 2009-2010 tax year, more than 16,000 Britons claimed annual incomes of more than 1 million pounds.
After the tax increase, that number plunged to just 6,000.