Looming tax hikes by France’s new socialist government have triggered an exodus of the Gallic super-rich to “wealth-friendly” nations like Britain and Switzerland.
The latest estate agency figures have shown large numbers of France’s most well-heeled families selling up and moving to neighboring countries. Many are fleeing a proposed new higher tax rate of 75 percent on all earnings over one million euros (NT$36.74 million).
Sotheby’s Realty said its French offices sold more than 100 properties over 1.7 million euros between April and June this year — a marked increase on the same period in 2011.
Alexander Kraft, head of Sotheby’s Realty, France, said: “The result of the presidential election has had a real impact on our sales. Now a large number of wealthy French families are leaving the country as a direct result of the proposals of the new government. These properties are then bought up by foreign investors looking for a stable real estate market like France to invest in.”
Gilles Martin, a Swiss tax consultant, reported the same trend. “Since the socialists came to power in France, I have been deluged with inquiries from rich French people who would rather pay their tax in Switzerland.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron angered the French last month when he said he would “roll out the red carpet” to wealthy French citizens and firms who wanted to move out and pay their taxes in Britain.
1. trigger v.
觸發；引起 (chu4 fa1; yin2 qi3)
例: An allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork.
2. well-heeled adj.
富有的 (fu4 you3 de5)
例: Some well-heeled investors have built huge positions in gold.
3. deluge v.
蜂擁而至；壓倒 (feng1 yong3 er2 zhi4; ya1 dao3)
例: He has been deluged with offers of work.