December 31, 2012 / 7:50 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-France's Hollande says to propose revised supertax on rich

By Elizabeth Pineau and Nicholas Vinocur

PARIS, Dec 31 (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande said on Monday he would push ahead with an amended supertax on the rich after France’s top court threw out a proposed 75-percent tax rate on those earning more than 1 million euros.

The Socialist president faced embarrassment when the Constitutional Council ruled that the tax -- a flagship of his presidential election campaign -- would weigh too heavily on high-earning individuals while sparing rich married couples.

Hollande said the levy would be amended while keepinh its objective of making the rich contribute more to deficit-cutting efforts.

But he did not specify how the proposal would change or whether the 75-percent rate itself would be maintained.

“We will still ask more of those who have the most,” he said in a televised address. “That’s the sense of the exceptional levy on the highest incomes, which will be amended following the Constitutional Council’s decision without changing its objective.”

In his first New Year’s address since winning office in May, Hollande repeated his goal of turning around a rising trend of unemployment by the end of 2013 while pursuing reforms to help French firms regain competitiveness.

Yet he also warned that helping the economy to get back on its feet would require sacrifice, warning there was no time to slow down on reforms to address dysfunctions in pensions and labour markets.

“This march forward has not been without bumps or setbacks,” he said. “I recognise that, but I have set a calendar of reforms now in order to come out of this crisis faster and stronger.”

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