Posts Tagged ‘VAT’

Class war in France as Hollande takes on the cavaliers

November 25, 2013

1. In France equestrian centres enjoy the relatively low VAT rate of  5.5% or 7%.

2. The EU naturally feels it necessary to poke its nose into anything it pleases

In a judgement handed down on 8 March (1), the EU Court of Justice ruled that France incorrectly applied the directive on the common system of value added tax (VAT) (2) by applying a reduced rate to certain transactions related to equidae.

The court upheld the European Commission’s first grievance whereby France may not apply a reduced rate (5.5%) to transactions related to horses when these animals are not intended for use in the preparation of foodstuffs or in agricultural production. It maintained that the directive authorises a reduced VAT rate for live animals “normally” intended for use in the preparation of foodstuffs and for transactions related to equidae, particularly horses, for agricultural, forestry or fishery activities, to the extent that they constitute deliveries or services intended for use in agricultural production.

3. The equestrian brigade (the cavaliers) are seen to be part of the privileged classes and as such a clear target for Francois Hollande and his old-fashioned class warfare objectives. The EU directive gives Hollande a wonderful excuse to triple VAT on the cavaliers. But for the cavaliers Hollande is not the right horse to bet on.

Paris equestrial protest

French cavaliers take to the street – image The Guardian

The Guardian: François Hollande’s plan to treble VAT on equestrian centres will ‘send 80,000 horses to the abattoir’, warns industry. 

A French mood of mutiny that has rippled through Brittany and infected teachers, farmers and shopkeepers, skipped species on Sunday when horses took to the streets of Paris to complain about tax rises. Thousands of disgruntled horse and pony riders rode through the French capital to complain about tax increases they say will put many of them out of business and send 80,000 animals to the abattoir.

The “cavaliers” blocked roads from the symbolic Paris squares, Place d’Italie, Place de la Bastille and Place de la Nation, in protest at government plans to almost treble VAT on equestrian centres. It was the latest manifestation of the growing revolt over President François Hollande’s tax reforms, many of them aimed at reducing the country’s public deficit to meet European Union demands.

The EU bureaucracy is essentially “socialist” in  that they are all paid for by taxes and they will do anything to make work for themselves and to expand their areas of work to ensure their own continuance. Support for all forms of publicly funded bureaucracy seems to be the core value of all socialist parties in Europe. If there was any group which needed to be disenfranchised it must be those who live off public funding – and not only in the EU but also within the member countries of the EU. Of course that line of thought leads to all politicians being banned from voting. And maybe that would not be so bad either.


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