France not planning household tax hikes, sources say other taxes possible

By Elizabeth Pineau

PARIS (Reuters) -The French government has no plans to make households pay more taxes, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Wednesday, but other tax rises are under consideration, two government sources said as ministers worked on finalising the draft 2024 budget.

France is under pressure to bring finances into balance after Fitch in April cut the country’s rating to AA- over concerns about potential political paralysis and social unrest following an unpopular pension reform.

“There is no question of increasing household taxes. We need to continue to lower taxes, while paying attention to the middle classes’ spending power,” Borne told France Bleu radio, also denying media reports of tax hikes on alcohol.

But as the government looks to wrap up its 2024 budget plans, one option is a possible tax on motorway operators, the two government sources said, confirming comments over the past months by Transport Minister Clement Beaune.

Beaune has said that would not increase toll prices.

Also under consideration is an increase of existing taxes on plane tickets, which would focus particularly on high-end seats, the sources said.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Elizabeth Pineau, Sudip Kar-Gupta, Dominique Vidalon; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Devika Syamnath)