• France's news in English

France to free 1.8m households from taxes

Ben McPartland · 16 May 2014, 09:55

Published: 16 May 2014 09:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

There was good news for hundreds of thousands of France’s most longsuffering tax payers on Friday.

The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that the government would take steps to ease the fiscal burden on the country’s most hard-up by exempting 1.8 million households from paying income tax on their 2013 earnings. 

"We need to lower taxes in our country to restore purchasing power to our citizens, to the working classes as the middle class," Valls told Europe1 radio.

“The measure that we are going to take will permit 1.8 million households to be free from paying income tax,” he added. The PM had initally suggested 650,000 households would benefit, but said the government had decided to strengthen the measure to demonstrate its "commitment".

The PM said the measure will concern the taxes to be paid in September 2014 on income earned in the year 2013. The PM did not commit to introducing a similar measure for 2014 or 2015. The tax cut, which will cost the state around €1 billion,  will be included in the finance bill to be put before parliament in June.

As well as the 1.8 million households that will be exempt from paying income taxes a further 1.2 million lower income households will see their annual bills cut, Valls promised.

The Socialist government has been under pressure to cut taxes for France’s lower classes, who have been most affected by ongoing economic gloom and record high unemployment.

President François Hollande’s popularity is at a record low for any French head of state as traditional Socialist party voters turn their backs on him.

Adding some details to his promise Valls said the tax ememption will benefit single people earning around the minimum wage of €14,000 a year, or couples with two children who have a combined monthly salary of around €3,600. According to the figures released by the Prime Minister's office the exemption will save those single people  €300 on the annual tax bill and couple €750 euros.

Valls is confident the measure will help improve the lot of the country’s most in need. Coming just nine days before the European elections, the measure could be seen as electioneering on the part of a Socialist party heading for another disastrous poll result, following the recent local elections debacle.

Story continues below…

The PM rejected this accusation.

“For five years, our citizens have been subject to tax hikes. It’s too much,” Valls said. “This is not just a gesture, this is a strategic measure to give back some purchasing power to our compatriots.”

In France income taxes are paid by households rather than individuals, although other ‘taxes’ known as social charges are deducted from individual salaries and bring in more money to state coffers.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available