Francois Hollande’s presidency has been a total disaster;
French unemployment is now
over 10 per cent;
among the young it is 24
His war on wealth creators
has led to a collapse of foreign investment into the country — it has more than
halved in the two years since he came into office.
In the same period, it has
trebled in Germany. While most countries in the eurozone think the worst is
behind them, France fears that the worst is yet to come.
Hollande cannot be faulted for being serious about
doctrine. He wanted to impose a 75 per cent rate of tax on the richest, and
when the courts struck that down he imposed it on the employers instead. Rather
than leading to a flood of revenue, it has put up a ‘keep out’ sign above
France for anyone serious about starting a business. Success is penalised.
Miliband’s proposed above 50% tax rises would do precisely the same.
Meanwhile, George Osborne is squeezing the richest
better than anyone: the best-paid 1 per cent now contribute 30 per cent of all
income tax collected, the highest share in history. The Conservative party’s
secret? It cut the top rate of tax. Hollande now talks grandly about his
‘responsibility pact’ with French business, whereby he cuts taxes in return for
them taking on workers. It is not working. This is what George Osborne has been
doing: since entering office, corporation tax has fallen from 28 to 21 per
cent. Employment has soared to an all-time high (defying the predictions of Ed
Balls, who said hopes of such a jobs surge was a ‘fantasy’). France has found out the hard way that no country
has ever taxed its way into prosperity; if Miliband wins the election, and
implements his agenda, Britain will be plunged into precisely the same crisis
which now engulfs France. The stakes at the next election are terrifyingly