French Business Slams Hollande Over Tax Grab

The economy is already stagnant


President Francois Hollande is drawing fire from French business leaders after his latest effort to revamp the nation's economy leaned on what many of them say was all too easy: higher taxes.

Hollande's proposal to fix France's pension system—under which working lives will be extended to 43 years by 2035 from 41 years currently—banks on up-front savings coming from raising contributions to the system over the next four years.

The plan drew squeals from executives in a country where the current government and its predecessor have increased taxes by 70 billion euros ($93 billion) in the past three years and the economy has barely grown. France's tax burden was 46.3 percent of gross domestic product last year, finance ministry figures show. It was the third-highest among developed nations after Denmark and Sweden in 2011, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.