Helping "Squeezed Middle" Families French-Style

We think of France as far more socialist than Britain yet French middle class families are far better off than their British equivalents in after-tax terms, despite higher basic rates. French taxpayers get an allowance of up to €2,300 per child under 7 years of age called les frais de garde d’enfants towards the costs of child care outside of the home, a small tax rebate called les frais de scolarité for each child in education and up to €6,000 rebated for l’emploi d’un salarie a domicile covering a house-keeper or nanny. In addition there is the quotient familial to minimise the impact of higher rates of taxation on families with children, it actually increases your tax allowance as you have more children. All these fiscal incentives encourage the French tax-paying middle classes to have kids.

The think-tank research out this morning showing that Britain is the worst country in Europe for taxpayers to have kids is only the half of it. In Britain we incentivise those who can’t afford to have children to have kids by paying them more welfare benefits and upgrading their state housing. This has created a multi-generational underclass who vote Labour to keep their benefits. Anyone would think it was Gordon’s deliberate plan…


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Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

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