Francois Hollande lurches Right in historic U-Turn to save French economy - Telegraph
How embarrassing. We call ours, Éamonn Gillmore. Or Pat Rabbitte.Company taxes will fall by €20bn a year equal to 1pc of GDP, to be phased in gradually by 2015 under a convoluted system of rebates.
Premier Jean-Marc Ayrault said it amounted to a 6pc cut in unit labour costs, enough to close the gap with eurozone rivals. "France is not condemned to a spiral of decline, but we need a national jolt to regain control of our destiny," he said.
The mid-rate of VAT for restaurants and services will jump from 7pc to 10pc. The top rate will rise slightly to 20pc. Spending cuts will plug the revenue gap in order to meet the EU’s 3pc deficit target.
Critics call it the most humiliating U-turn in French politics since François Mitterrand abandoned his disastrous experiment of "Socialism in one country" under a D-Mark currency peg in 1983.
Mr Hollande came to office vowing lower VAT rates to protect the buying power of workers, and called business tax cuts a "gift to the rich". He imposed €10bn of fresh taxes on firms just weeks ago in his 2013 budget, a move that set off a revolt by business leaders.
How will the broader left in Europe react to this news? Surely if Europe's most socialist economy (56% GDP) begins to cut back, spending cuts and tax cuts, surely the rest of the European left has to reconsider its options? This is seismic.