Wealth tax may mean exodus from France to UK

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Wealth tax may mean exodus from France to UK

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Some wealthy French citizens may be preparing to swap croissants for bacon and eggs with a move to London if Socialist candidate Francois Hollande becomes the next president of France.

In the run up to the election Hollande has proposed more tax on annual incomes over one million euros.

James Pace, head of the Kensington branch of estate agency Knight Frank, explained what he is seeing: “Whilst the rest of Europe has seen interest drop by 10 percent, we’ve seen French interest increase by about 30 percent. This has predominantly been at the top end of the market, at the £5 million plus [price level], so it’s obviously interest from people who are looking to move here and live here, as opposed to people who are just looking to invest in smaller rental investments.”

Hollande looks likely to win and is leading current President Nicolas Sarkozy in the polls.

“Mr Hollande proposes to set up a new tax rate of 75 percent on incomes exceeding one million euros. These high taxes may lead some people who have not considered leaving the country yet to leave the country,” said Laurent Leclercq, a tax specialist at Fidal.

There are already around 300,000 French citizens living in England’s capital, but some of those who decide to leave France if Hollande wins may go to Brussels or Switzerland instead.