Tax Policy Changes Loom After French Election
Things seem fairly predictable in France at the moment, and pollsters – a profession which has taken something of a reputational knock recently – must have breathed a sigh of relief when the first round of the French elections ended as predicted, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to the upcoming run-off vote.
Yet, there’s an element of the unknown about both choices. For this isn’t the usual straight fight between mainstream left and right; it’s a contest between a relatively politically inexperienced unaffiliated centrist and a firebrand nationalist.
In an age when many politicians are accused of being cut from the same cloth and eternally vying for the middle ground, nobody can accuse Macron and Le Pen of being the same, including in the area of tax. Consequently, for business taxpayers, tax policy could go in two very different directions as a result of this election: Marcon’s business-friendly tax cuts; or Le Pen’s worker-friendly protectionism. Either way, the French seem to have grown tired of the political establishment after years of low growth and high taxation – the fact that Benoit Hamon, the candidate for the ruling Socialist Party, mustered just six percent of the vote, says a lot – and are looking for a shake-up.
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