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France ponder one percent 'Internet tax' to fund domestic computer production

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 14th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

France is considering a one percent "Internet tax" which would in turn be used to put back into French businesses. The new tax would affect Smartphone's and tablets to raise millions to support the creation of digital cultural content inside France. As it was submitted to President Francois Hollande, the proposal outlines a one percent tax on the sale of Internet-compatible devices, targeting companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The tax would yield about 86 million Euros per year and the revenue in turn would finance French content such as music, images and videos.

The proposal is part of an ongoing part of France's "cultural exception," a policy that protects French cinema and music industries, and other creative sectors, against foreign - frequently American competition.

The event marked President Hollande's first day of consultations with trade union leaders and employers on an overhaul of France's pension system. The reform is being seen as vital to sorting out French public finances.

The European Commission has given Paris another two years to reduce its public deficit to a targeted three percent of output. The commission wants France to commit to structural reforms in return.

Hollande has made a pension revamp a top priority this year. He is highly eager to avoid a repeat of mass street protests in 2010 when predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy raised the retirement age to 62 from 60.

The French government is due to consult employers and trade unions through to parliament's summer recess. However it will not give them a say in a draft law due in the second half of the year as it did with new labor market rules agreed in January.

France will see 26 billion annual shortfalls in its pension system by 2020 if it does not act.

The government has since ruled out raising the legal retirement age beyond 62. Hollande has said that extending the pay-in period beyond the current 41.5 years is all but inevitable.

Two other options include raising the level of contributions to the retirement system and paring down pay-outs by limiting how much pensions are adjusted for inflation.

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