Saturday, 5 April 2014

1 year to the election: look to France to see the kind of future awaits Britain if Miliband wins

Francois Hollande’s presidency has been a total disaster;
-         French unemployment is now over 10 per cent;
-         among the young it is 24 per cent.
-         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 high.