Simplifying govt to save €3bn

Reductions in reimbursements, tax arrangements and budget cuts behind savings plan

16 July 2013

A PLAN to save €3bn through tax reform and simplifying business procedures is launched by the Prime Minster.

While the project does not contain tax rises, it makes large and numerous cuts to tax exemptions, reductions and other special measures.

It also contains a number of policies to make bureaucratic life in France easier, including a central premise that “the silence of the administration means its consent”.

Other plans include:
- Extending the validity of a French carte d’identité from 10 to 15 years.
- Phasing out physical Tickets Restaurants and replacing them with rechargeable cards or smartphone apps.
- Allowing drivers to see the number of points left on their licence via the internet

The plan also proposes 84 measure to ‘simplify the life of businesses’. Among them:
- Sociétés commerciales will no longer have to register with the financial services. Their registration will be passed on when they register with the chamber of commerce, saving money in registration fees.
- Many procedures, such as paying VAT, will be moved online, and paper versions will be scrapped.
- The government has promised to begin work in the autumn on harmonising the legal and financial regimes of different types of small business.

Financial measures include reductions for the following:
- Reimbursements for fuel tax in the agricultural and public works sectors
- Financial benefits for housing investment groups (Siic)
- Beneficial arrangements for social charges for foreign businesses.

Special arrangements in fuel tax for taxis and freight transport are left untouched, as are measures to help Tabacs.

Funding for the state’s business institutions (chambre de commerce, chambre des métiers) is to be cut to €300 million in 2014.

A reduction in the amount of money that can be saved through the quotient familial when calculating income tax – a measure affecting wealthy families and predicted to recuperate one billion euros.

The government’s work-training programme will also see its budget cut by €500 million.

Photo: Richard Ying et Tangui Morlier

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