Janice Atkinson for The Daily Mail
8th August 2012
There are always lessons to be learnt from history. When Charles de Gaulle led the French rebellion against the Germans, he did it from London. As Francoise Hollande proposes a 75% top rate of tax for those earning over one million euros (£780,000), let’s open our doors to the French living under the dire effects of socialism and let them once again lead the resistance from London to regain control of their country and their taxes.
Hollande doesn’t stop at those earning a million euros, the country’s previous top tax bracket of 41 per cent on earnings over 72,000 euros is also set to increase to 45 per cent. No wonder French lawyers are inundated with enquiries for moving abroad. That’s socialism for you.
I have just returned from a week’s holiday in Carcassone in south west France. The Brits are selling up wholesale. And I don’t blame them. The socialists propose a retrospective second home tax on rental income that would see a rise from 20 per cent to 35.5 per cent, and capital gains tax on property sales would rise from 19 per cent to 34.5 per cent.
Fair, you might say if you can afford a second home, but this region has the highest unemployment rate and lowest productivity. It is the second highest region for second homes, has an unemployment rate of 13.5%, the highest in mainland France, with over 80% of the population employed by the state, the rest rely on wine and tourism. If the Brits sell up then there is no tourism, no wine sales, restaurants will close and more will be unemployed.
Our hosts bought a modest detached three bedroomed house with a swimming pool and now face a huge hike in taxes. They already pay £8,500 per annum in council tax – yes, you read correctly. Where is the incentive to stay?
When we ate in the local restaurants we noticed a phenomenon that we have never seen before – there was no wine drinking, only water. The only people drinking in the restaurants were the Brits. I asked the waiters why and they replied it was austerity, people in France could no longer afford to drink wine, this is a fault of the new president and they were not happy. The wine was not expensive, it isn’t in this part of France and it’s good.
Carcassone’s piece de resistance is a walled medieval Cite which sits proudly and beautifully on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside. It is the second most visited site in France. It has a chequered history, having surrendered to French rule in 1247 following the defeat of the Occitan Cathars by the crusading northern French. To protect their way of life and their income perhaps it’s time to declare UDI against the crusading socialist Hollande?
Hollande’s measures do not just extend to taxing tourism and second homes. Industry is suffering too. Peugeot-Citroën is sacking 8,000 workers because of high social and employment charges and transferring production to Eastern Europe. Compare that to Britain’s growth in car manufacturing where companies are investing here. There is a chill running through France as they slowly realise what Hollande’s brand of socialism means – more Europe, punitive taxes, more people employed by the state as industry packs up and leaves. Hollande is another socialist promoted beyond his capability and swept to power never having had a proper job; this is a sad indictment of modern politics. Never mind French, come to London, it’s a party compared to France. Bring your banks, your lawyers, your car manufacturing, your euros (for what they’re worth), your entrepreneurs and your wine. Come and sing the rendition of the wartime resistance song Le Chant des Partisans whilst having a glass of wine. There is one caveat for entry though, you cannot advocate membership of the European Union, you must renounce all that Brussels stands for and join us in our fight for an EU referendum.
London’s hot at the moment, we’re winning more gold in the Olympics and there’s a party atmosphere here. We might have a red Conservative in Downing Street but even he’s better than Hollande. And we’re still drinking wine. A votre Sante!