France again tops EU tax list

Official statistics body puts reveals France is the most heavily taxed EU state for the third year in a row

France is the most heavily taxed EU state, with the French treasury taking back 48.4% of the GDP in one form of levy or another, a European Commission study has revealed.

Amid widespread anger and protests against the tax burden in France led by the Gilets Jaunes movement, the news could not come at a worse time for President Emmanuel Macron's government.

It is the third consecutive year that France has topped the EU tax list compiled by Eurostat, the EU's official statistics body, and rose 0.7 percentage points in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Belgium came second in the list on 47.3% and Denmark third on 46.8%. The EU average was 40.2%, with taxes on the up across the board since 2010. Ireland had the lowest rating, on 23.5%, followed by Romania (25.8%) and Bulgaria (29.5%).

The tax burden and social contributions rose in four other countries in 2017 - Cyprus, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Malta - compared to 15 EU member states the previous year, according to the figures.

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