France raises taxes on wealthy individuals’ assets

In an economy that’s barely expanding, France presages larger tax increases and spending cuts next year. France’s Socialist government unveiled 7.2 billion euros ($9 billion) of tax increases to meet deficit-reduction goals and avoid bond-market punishment, according to bloomberg. The largest new levy will be a one-time surcharge on wealthy individuals’ assets to raise 2.3 billion euros.

“We face an extremely difficult financial and economic situation,” said Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici. “The wealthiest households, the big companies, will be asked to contribute. In 2012 and 2013, the effort will be particularly large.”

French government needs between 6 billion euros and 10 billion euros in savings this year to meet its 2012 target of a deficit equal to 4.5 percent of economic output. For next year, it needs to find 33 billion euros in savings to achieve its aim of 3 percent.