December 5, 2018 / 7:27 AM / in 6 months

France could change position over wealth tax, says government spokesman

PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The French government could change its position regarding a wealth tax, said government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, as protests mount over President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

The government has changed aspects of the wealth tax - known in France as the ‘ISF’ - by narrowing it down to lucrative property deals and real estate assets.

However, that move had led to criticism that Macron was a “President of the Rich”, since it would have eased the tax burden for many of the country’s wealthiest citizens.

On Wednesday, Griveaux told RTL radio the government could re-consider those proposals if it felt the move was not working.

“If a measure that we have taken, which is costing the public money, turns out not to be working, if it’s not going well, we’re not stupid - we would change it,” he said.

Earlier this week, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe decided to suspend planned increases to fuel taxes for at least six months in response to weeks of sometimes violent protests, marking the first major U-turn by Macron’s administration in 18 months in office. (Reporting by Sophie Louet; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta/Bate Felix)

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