French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said a plan to tax those who earn more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million) a year at a rate of 75 percent will remain in place for two years.
“We aren’t watering down the measure,” he said in an interview on RTL radio. “It’s a strong, patriotic measure. Those that got very rich over the past period can help in a patriotic way to turn around the country.”
The government will also include a new marginal tax rate of 45 percent in the 2013 budget to be presented to the Cabinet Sept. 28, Moscovici said.
The government has said the tax on high earners is part of a bid to turn around an economy that hasn’t grown in three quarters and lower the deficit. President Francois Hollande is also struggling with joblessness at a 13-year high and a budget hole of more than 30 billion euros for next year.
“An economy that is indebted is a sick economy,” Moscovici said today. “Lowering the debt is a necessary battle to have our sovereignty from the markets. I don’t want France to be a prisoner of its debt.”
Financing of social security will be overhauled to “make it sustainable,” he said.