The eco decryption. “Covid savings”: are we moving towards a tax on the wealthiest?

A piggy bank on a mountain of banknotes. Illustrative photo. (RICHARD VILLALON / MAXPPP)

Today, seven in ten French people have a Livret A. Considered the most popular placement, it is the booklet that is opened at the birth of a child when possible, on which we place the few savings available over the course of life to cope with a hard blow, which one will draw on for difficult ends of the month, pay taxes, unforeseen expenses, etc. The total money stored today on the Livret A amounts to 455 billion and a half euros, up nearly 10% over one year. This booklet has always been considered a safe haven despite its low rate of return today of 0.5%. And then we do not pay tax on this savings.

According to the Economic Analysis Council, the 10% of the poorest households have recently taken on more debt than they have managed to save. The better-off have saved a lot. And if we add the money that sleeps in current bank accounts because of the lower consumption during confinement, we reach sums that the government would like to see used to revive the economy, by consumption in particular.

How to ensure that the French use this so-called “Covid” savings in a different way? How to convince or force them? This last point is clearly subject to debate in the ranks of power. If we do not consume or invest in businesses, will the government go so far as to resort to coercive means, such as taxing this abundant savings of the richest? But that would probably be the worst-case solution, capable of breaking the confidence of the French who, in the space of a year, have set aside as much as the state has spent to support the economy in the face of the pandemic (around 200 Billions of Euro’s). If this deserves to be corrected, the Ministry of the Economy has still not found the solution.

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