Public tax reaches record level with France in first place (OECD)

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PARIS (Reuters) – France overtook Denmark as the highest-taxed country in 2017, as government tax revenues in developed countries hit an all-time high, the OECD said, data that could help little President Emmanuel Macron to appease protesters angry at the cost of living.

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends a conference at UCL University of Louvain-La-Neuve, on the last day of an official state visit to Belgium, November 20, 2018. REUTERS / Yves Herman / Pool / File Photo

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said on Wednesday that the government’s overall tax revenue averaged 34.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year among 34 developed countries for which the organization based in Paris compiled data.

Although it increased only slightly from 34.0% in 2016, that figure was the highest average overall tax levy since the international policy forum files began in 1965, he said.

In France, tax revenue reached 46.2% of GDP, overtaking Denmark, where the ratio fell to 46.0%.

France’s high tax burden is a source of resentment among voters. A public rebellion dubbed the “yellow vests” movement erupted in mid-November in anger over high fuel taxes and punitive cost of living. The demonstrations have at times turned violent, especially in Paris.

The Macron government, which aims to gradually reduce the overall tax burden during its five-year term, on Tuesday suspended planned new increases in fuel taxes for at least six months in an attempt to calm the worsening crisis.

The OECD said government taxes rose in 19 member countries last year and fell in 16.

Israel saw the largest increase – 1.4 percentage points to 32.7% of GDP – due to a number of policy changes affecting taxes on income and profits.

The United States recorded the second largest increase in 2017 – 1.3 percentage points to 27.1% of GDP, which, according to the OECD, was in part due to a one-time tax repatriation. foreign business income.

Mexico had the lowest overall tax burden at 16.2%, according to the OECD.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Potter


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