In September 2015, French President Francois Hollande promised households a 1 billion-euro ($1.1 billion) tax cut next year. Why such benevolence? Hollande’s government was attempting to make up for the glut of gross domestic product (GDP) that was taken by his government in taxes in 2014.
Finance Minister Michel Sapin said “we’re doing it because it’s both fair and necessary.” Both France and Belgium collected the equivalent of 47.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2014. France’s finance ministry estimated that taxation and social charges have fallen from 44.9 percent of GDP in 2014 to 44.5 percent this year.