France will not raise taxes even if the economy is suffering from a deeper recession than expected due to the blockage of the coronavirus, said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
This year’s contraction will rise to 11%, more than the 8% previously forecast. It is also more than the 9% drop predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey.
“Today, we have very heavy taxes, among the highest of any developed economy, so common sense is not to increase pressure on the French,” Le Maire said on French radio RTL. “Yes, the debt will have to be paid off, but not by raising taxes – by increasing growth. “
France imposed one of the strictest bans in Europe in mid-March and did not start lifting the restrictions until May 11. Cafes, bars and restaurants were only allowed to reopen on Tuesday.
“We have been badly affected by the virus, we have taken effective measures to protect the health of the French, but the economy has practically stopped for three months,” said Le Maire.
With the reopening of some 300,000 cafes, bars and restaurants on Tuesday, Le Maire said they would continue to receive donations from a government solidarity fund until the end of the year to cover fixed costs.
“Even if it is hard to hear a day when the sun is shining and the cafes are reopening, the hardest part is still before us in social and economic terms,” said Le Maire.
The government is trying to avoid a series of retail bankruptcies by looking for buyers for the big clothing chains Camaieu, Conforama and La Halle, which employ thousands of people, Le Maire said.
The Mayor previously announced sectoral support plans for the tourism and automotive industries this month. He said measures for the aerospace industry are in the works for next week and the start-up and construction sectors will follow. – Bloomberg / Reuters