The winners of two new tax policy changes – part of French President Emmanuel Macron's response to the 'yellow vest' protests last year – were published in a list collected by the French newspaper Le Parisien on Friday.
Behind the income increase were two recent tax policy measures: a €5 billion general income tax reduction and the doing away with the taxe d’habitation, the tax paid by everyone renting in France, which the government began phasing out in 2018.
Taken together, these two measures meant nine million households will see their budget increase with €982 on average in 2020.
Most of this income increase is due to the disappearing of the taxe d’habitation. As we have reported earlier, the €5 billion income tax cut will mean an extra €304 on average a year for the nearly nine million households affected.
According to Le Parisien, the main winners of the tax changes would be a couple with one child and an average monthly income of €4,050 (after taxes), living in Essonne on the outskirts of Paris.
Topping the list of the areas benefiting most from the changes was the Paris suburb of Montfermeil. The area has also recently gained another claim to fame – it's the setting for the Oscar-nominated film Les Misérables, an explosive tale of a France apart where poverty and crime makes life miserable for those trapped in the city.
The 'yellow vests' had a strong presence in Marseille, a city that made it on the list of the top 32 benefactors of the French new tax changes. Photo: AFP
Situated in département 93 Seine-Saint Dénis, locally known as the neuf-trois and infamous for its high poverty and crime rates, Montfermeil was listed as the number one benefactor of the new financial policies.
In total, 2,600 of Montfermeil’s 12,700 tax-paying households would see their annual income for 2020 increase by €1,684, according to Le Parisien.
Following Montfermeil as number two on the list was Carqueiranne, a small town close to Marseille. Of its 6,200 tax paying households, 1,500 would get an €1,585 average annual increase starting in 2020.
Eighteen of the 32 areas listed were towns with less than 10,000 inhabitants. The largest city benefiting from the changes was Marseille, which could be found at 29th place.
Of its 481,800 tax-paying households, 100,500 would be eligible for an average of €1,357 extra in their annual income.
Emmanuel Macron is trying to shake off his reputation as president of the rich. Photo: AFP
These numbers were good news for the president and his party La République en marche, which has been trying to rid itself of its image as a government serving only big business and the elites.
However the findings came only days after the French Observatory of Economic Conjunctures (OFCE) published a report stating that the government's financial policies were hurting the middle classes – even with the new tax changes taken into the account.
“The fiscal policies of 2018 were favouring the highest-earners to such a degree that the big winners overall remain the [country's] wealthiest,” Mathieu Plane, an economist and author of the report, told Le Parisien.
Top 10 areas that benefit
1. Monfermeil, Seine Saint-Denis
2. Carqueiranne, Var
3. Ormesson-sur-Marne, Val-de-Marne
4. Mennecy, Essonne
5. Pérols, Hérault
6. Sucy-en-Brie, Val-de-Marne
7. Le Taillan-Médoc, Gironde
8. Montgeron, Essonne
9. Yerres, Essonne
10. Villecresnes, Val-de-Marne
For a full list, click here.