French 'supertax' will make it harder to recruit talent, says L'Oreal boss
28 September 2012
Posted by: SAIT Technical
By Kim Willsher (The Guardian)
France will find it difficult if not impossible to recruit talented business leaders to work in the country if the government presses ahead with its "supertax" band of 75%, the head of L'Oréal said on Wednesday.
President François Hollande's Socialist government will unveil its austerity budget for 2013 on Friday, which will include tax hikes and budget cuts to save €30bn and bring France's public deficit down to the 3% of GDP he promised in his election campaign.
Jean-Paul Agon, the chief executive of the world's biggest cosmetics company, told the Financial Times: "If there is such a new tax rule, it's going to be very, very difficult to attract talent to work in France, almost impossible; at a certain level, of course."
Hollande has pledged to impose the 75% rate on anyone earning more than €1m a year, a move popular with the public, but that has brought criticism from business leaders who fear it will hit their competitiveness, make hiring the best managers difficult and provoke a rush of wealthy taxpayers leaving the country.
Agon was one of 16 wealthy French business leaders who signed a public petition last year offering to pay more tax as a gesture of "national solidarity". Asked by the FT whether he thought they should be paying 75%, he replied: "No, clearly not."
Earlier this month, Bernard Arnault, head of the luxury goods group Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, admitted he had applied for Belgian citizenship. The announcement caused a storm but Arnault insisted he was not trying to avoid paying taxes in France.