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France may amend wealth tax after protests over living costs

Reuters
PARIS
President Emmanuel Macron could amend a wealth tax that critics say goes too easy on the rich, his government indicated on Wednesday, a day after suspending further fuel-tax hikes in the face of protests across France over living costs.
The Macron administration is struggling to defuse the anger driving the “yellow vest” protests, as it reels from the worst riots seen in central Paris in five decades last Saturday.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said all tax-related policies needed to be periodically evaluated and, if deemed not to be working, should be changed. He said the wealth tax could be reassessed in the autumn of 2019.
“If a measure that we have taken, which is costing the public money, turns out not to be working, if it’s not going well, we’re not stupid - we would change it,” Griveaux told RTL radio. The unrest over the squeeze on household budgets comes as OECD data showed that France has become the most highly taxed country in the developed world, surpassing even high-tax Denmark.
Griveaux later told a weekly news conference that Macron had called on all political parties, trade unions and business leaders to press the need for calm. Student protests and planned trade union strikes in the energy and port sectors next week underscored the risk of contagion.

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