Marine Le Pen to slap 10% tax on all foreign workers
Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has pledged to introduce a new tax in a bid to discourage employers from hiring foreign workers.
“We will apply national priority on employment through an additional tax on all new contracts for foreign employees,” Le Pen told Le Monde newspaper.
Le Pen will make employers who hire foreigners pay a tax worth 10% of the salary paid to those people, according to her adviser Florian Philippot.
Philippot said the tax would apply to non-nationals, including citizens of other European Union countries.
"Alternatively, he (an employer) can hire a French national and avoid having to pay the tax," Philippot told RTL radio.
Non-French workers made up 5.5% of the country’s salaried workforce in 2014, according to government statistics.
Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigrant, anti-European Union Front National party, is enjoying growing support in opinion polls.
She has said that the revenue generated from the tax would be directed to benefit unemployed people.
Philippot also called on the conservative candidate Francois Fillon, Le Pen’s rival who is engulfed by a scandal over public money he is accused of paying to his wife for work she did not do, to pull out of the race.
"I want Francois Fillon to live up to his responsibilities and withdraw from this election," he said. "This scandal is polluting the campaign."
However, Le Pen’s campaign has been damaged by an expenses scandal over EU funds, seeing her refuse to pay almost €300,000 that were allegedly misspent on wages for two Brussels aides who in fact remained working in France.
A television journalist who questioned Le Pen on the allegations was removed by security guards while touring the Salon des Entrepreneurs on Wednesday, being dragged away and shoved despite showing his accreditation.
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