The 2012/01/31 at 10:48
The main announcement made by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, on Sunday 29 January, was an increase in the VAT rate by 1.6 points. This measure aims to lighten labour costs for businesses, which will also benefit from complete exemption from employer contributions for salaries between 1.6 and 2.1 times the SMIC (French minimum salary). The State stands to earn 10 billion euros according to the presidential office.
The day after the televised presidential announcement, the magazine Commerce International took advantage of the gathering of various traders at the Passion Commerce operation in the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, organised by French Chambers of Commerce, to query the heads of very small enterprises (VSEs), contractors, as well as the President of the ACFCI (Assembly of the French Chambers of Commerce and Industry), André Marcon, and the Secretary of State for Trade, Frédéric Lefebvre, on whether the raising of the VAT rate is a good idea. Traders do not conceal their fear that consumption will decline following this reform which, if Nicolas Sarkozy is re-elected, will come into force in October 2012 – all the more as the smallest companies have no employees and thus do not benefit from the employer contribution exemption.