France To Squeeze Businesses

The new socialist government in France has its eye on balancing the budget by putting the screws to businesses and the wealthy


PARIS—France's parliament has passed a budget amendment that raises a slew of new taxes on businesses and the wealthy while barely cutting spending.

The final version of the law was agreed Tuesday by both houses of the legislature, the National Assembly and the Senate.

The law revises the 2012 budget after economic growth fell short of projections, and sets the tone for President Francois Hollande's Socialist administration. It rolls back several measures the previous, conservative government passed to shake up a hidebound labor market. It eliminates a tax break on overtime pay, for example.

The government has promised the 2013 budget will include spending cuts, but economists worry the new leaders don't understand how urgently France needs to reduce costs. Ballooning debt has forced other European countries to seek bailouts.

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