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By now most members of the UK government will have been shamed into resigning because of “inappropriate” remarks or behaviour or hard discs and then there are all those in power in the movie business who are dropping like flies.  Accusations ranging from banter to rape are literally bringing the House of Cards down.


One always thought of Mr Spacey as squeaky clean.

Then there is Donald Trump, who has nipped off to Japan and all points east, still at large.

And the King of Catalonia, Mr Unpronounceable and four of his co-conspirators have given themselves up to Belgian police.  I guess that is so that they can be a martyrs on their extradition back in Spain. In hundreds of years time will they be burning effigies commemorating Senor Puigedoodah?


  Maybe London, Scotland and Catalunya could form an alliance and apply to join Europe then give the rest of the UK to Spain to deal with. Michael Portillo could be the man to pull it together.

There are campaigns about trying to get people to openly discuss mental health and I see reports there are more people requiring treatment for mental health issues.  Now a new report today says there has been a doubling of unfilled vacancies for psychiatrists in the UK.   That sounds like a success all round then.

It appears the unemployed and unemployable should be enrolled in courses to train them to fill the jobs, when they aren’t capable of doing a medical degree and don’t want to cut cauliflowers.


As it coming up to Christmas the caganers will be interesting, i myself will be taking a TRUMP








Thousands of regular readers make the Flyer the place to be seen



Lost in France


The views expressed here are those of the writer and not of Steve.


Melyssa Wright cloudWe live in a beautiful area.  The countryside, the mountains and the sea.  With the sky above us , almost every day we are part of a living painting.  I know I am a normally grumpy person, but sometimes as the day begins or ends, as the sun rises or sets, we are given glances of ephemeral beauty.  And periodically I remind myself of the words from Wordsworth’s ‘Ode on Intimations of Mortality…’

‘… trailing clouds of glory do we come’


And if that is a bit too elegiac for the flyer I suggest you look to the skies and with the help of The Cloud Appreciation Society identify and enjoy the continual panoply of beauty that is above our heads. 


Gavin Pretor-Pinney wrote The Cloudspotters Guide around 10 years ago.  And if you want to know the difference between your cumulus and your cumulo-nimbus, he describes and explains varieties of clouds and has via this book and others he has written created a society of cloud watchers.  I am member 9941 and he is well into the tens of thousands members now.  It is a simple and not too scientific introduction to this beauty above us every day…. except today when it’s just plain grey.


I am sure you all have your own remarkable photos of the sky in this region and if you would like to share perhaps Steve would be kind enough to include in the next flyer.  If you do decide to send, please give your first name, date and location.  The one I’ve included is by Melissa Wright via The Cloud Appreciation Society website.





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Proposed French Tax Changes 2018


Since my last article the October Tour de Finance event has taken place at the Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles, near Limoux. As always, it was a huge success and very well attended. It was great to see some familiar faces as well as make some new contacts. Over 70 guests in all came along to listen to a number of industry experts speak about highly topical issues such as the proposed changes to the French tax system, pensions, assurance vie, discretionary fund management and, of course, the “B” word!


In this article I will concentrate on our understanding of some of the proposed changes to the French taxation regime, as published in the Projet de Loi de Finances 2018. Of particular interest to many of our clients are the proposed changes to Wealth Tax, the increase in Social Charges and the new 30% Flat Tax on revenue from capital. At the time of writing, these, and other proposed changes have still to be agreed in Parliament and then referred to the Constitutional Council for review before entering into French law. So we won’t know for sure the exact changes that will take place until the end of the year. However, below is a brief summary of the main proposals as we understand it.


WEALTH TAX (Impôt de Solidarité sur la Fortune)

The government proposes to abolish the current wealth tax system and replace this with Impôt sur la Fortune Immobilier (IFI).

IFI would apply only to real estate assets and the principal residence would still be eligible for the 30% abatement against its value. Therefore, taxpayers with net real estate assets of at least €1.3 million would be subject to IFI on taxable assets exceeding €800,000, as follows:


Fraction of Taxable Assets            Tax Rate
Up to €800,000                               0%
€800,000 to €1,300,000                     0.5%
€1,300,001 to €2,570,000                  0.7%
€2,570,001 to €5,000,000              1%
€5,000,001 to €10,000,000                 1.25%
Greater than €10,000,000                  1.5%

This is good news for French residents with substantial financial assets, including those held within assurance vie. However, there have already been some protests to the scope of the new form of ‘Wealth Tax’ being levied only on real estate, with luxury items such as yachts and gold bullion being exempt. Thus, I don’t think we have heard the last of this!

SOCIAL CHARGES (Prélèvements Sociaux)
It is proposed to increase the Contribution Sociale Généralisée (CSG) by 1.7%. This will result in investment income and property rental income being liable to total social charges of 17.2% and, where France is responsible for the cost of the taxpayer’s healthcare in France, at a rate of 9.1% on pension income.


FLAT TAX on revenue from capital
It is planned to introduce a Prélèvement Forfaitaire Unique (PFU) at a single ‘flat tax’ rate of 30% on investment income, made up as follows:


➢ a fixed rate of income tax of 12.8%; plus
➢ social charges at the rate of 17.2% (taking into account the proposed increase).


The PFU will apply to interest, dividends and capital gains from the sale of shares.


How does this affect Assurance Vie contracts?

Based on information currently available and, of course, the finer details may change before being passed into law, it is our understanding that for premiums invested totalling €150,000 or less per person (so €300,000 for a joint life policy) the existing system of withholding tax (prélèvement forfaitaire libératoire PFL). Taking into account social charges at the increased rate of 17.2%, this results in gains on amounts withdrawn, continuing to be taxed, as follows:


➢ during the first 4 years at 52.2%
➢ between 4 years and 8 years at 32.2%
➢ post 8 years at 24.7%

The first draft of the bill proposed that the new ‘flat tax’ will replace the existing PFL system but will only apply to gains on premiums invested after 27 September 2017, that exceed the thresholds above. However, the National Assembly has already decided that it is illogical to have different tax rates, depending on how long the premium has been invested, for new investments made from 27 September 2017. Therefore, an amendment to the bill has already been proposed that all new investments made should be subject to the ‘flat tax’.

It is proposed that all taxpayers will have the possibility to opt for taxation at the progressive income tax rates of the barème scale, plus social charges. Therefore, any potential gains on capital, including withdrawals from assurance vie policies, should be assessed on an individual basis to determine in advance as to which method of taxation would be most appropriate.

There is no change to the inheritance tax treatment of assurance vie contracts and the post 8-year abatement of €4,600 for a single taxpayer, or €9,200 for a couple, will be maintained. Thus, despite the proposed tax changes, the assurance vie will continue to be a very useful vehicle for sheltering financial assets from unnecessary taxes. In addition, as assurance vie policies fall outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes, you can leave your investments to your chosen beneficiaries without being subject to the French Succession Laws of “protected heirs”.


The abolition of taper relief
The reform also proposes the abolition of the taper relief on capital gains from the sale of shares, in respect of gains from disposals from 2018.


So, if you are sitting on a portfolio of shares which are not sheltered in a tax wrapper, then now is the time to have a look at any gains you may have and, possibly make use of the taper relief of up to 65% on the total gain, while it is still available. Don’t delay in speaking to your financial adviser who should be able to identify whether the restructuring of your investments is in your best interests.


If you would like to have a confidential discussion about your financial situation, please contact me either by e-mail at

or by telephone on +33 04 67 24 90 95.

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at:


meteo ciel3




Email: Website:
Forum: Local Association No : W11200059

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readers write

Good morning Steve,

Still enjoying reading the flyer. Perhaps you could find a place in the next one to add a small contribution!

C’est la vie.

My wife and I are in the closing stages of our French nationality application. As we wait for 'the call' to Montpelier Prefecture for our personal interview I often reflect on my reasons for wanting to take this step.

I think it is always very difficult to answer questions like what is the British, American or French dream. When I lived in the UK and not being a politician I was realistic enough to know that I couldn't change the country. But I did know what I wanted to achieve and most probably selfishly, set out to do this. I had a dream. Not a British dream, even Teresa May isn't sure about that, but my dream. Living and working in the USA with people from different backgrounds I knew that they had their dreams as well. But it was impossible to say that there was one overall dream. Aspirations and dreams were certainly very different if you were a wine producer in the Napa Valley or an unemployed car worker from Michigan.

Despite the problems with corruption in the French Government and the level of bureaucracy, I still see adults with the ethos of Liberté égalité fraternité that French schools installed in them when they were children. The French value passionate discussion. Complaining and expressing their point of view is actually a way of being heard and participating in the change process, even if that means the occasional strike. I see solidarity in the strikes and the same solidarity when tragic events overtake a village or the recent horrors in Paris. France still has a good economic flag to fly and of course there is the lifestyle, climate, culture.

And there is there a quirky side to France. Shops close for lunch and quite often restaurants stop serving a meal at two o'clock in the afternoon. Then there is transport. Trains run on time, are comfortable and fast. French crewed Channel ferries serve lovely food. Driving in France can raise the temperature of any French or Englishman. Tailgating is common and one could be excused for thinking that the indicators on most French cars no longer work. Driving in these conditions should raise your awareness, not blood pressure. Starting my driving career on a motorcycle one soon learnt that anticipation was the number one rule.

‘Priorité à la droite’ is the same. It is the French system and should be followed. In many cases it helps traffic flow and regardless, when I go to a different country, and the reason I am here is because France is different, I check what the signs mean. It makes sense to me not to guess because they may look nearly like a UK sign. C'est la vie et vive la France

Peter Collier





Catalan independence is an impractical aspiration to an uncertain status (a future based on could/would/might). (Anyone noticed the parallels yet?) Capital is moving out of Barcelona because of the threat of separation and if the region ever becomes independent it will have to take on its share of the national debt and it will lose its right to use the euro, and it may lose many of the migrant workers on which its wealth depends – all of which is going to create a lot of expense that will sabotage the promised prosperity. So the prize will evaporate; but then it would be too late. Plus no one has thought of how to create land borders on little lanes in remote regions. Or about lorries blocking the motorway between Tarragona and Castellón as they queue for passport and customs checks. If we are unlucky, Catalan independence may provoke Basque terrorism to return if the Basque Country doesn't get the same status. 

Independence sounds like a noble cause but it is really a game of elites and careers played by people who either haven't thought through the consequences or (worse) know they are making promises they cannot keep. It is easy to win a referendum if you promise anything and everything whether or not it is feasible.

It is hard to imagine a Catalan having more freedom or cultural respect than he/she has now.  The international media meanwhile makes the mistake of conflating the Spanish people and the Spanish state. The latter is in the hands of a minority right-wing government propped up by a weak-voiced socialist opposition ie no one is really speaking up for the typical Andaluz or Asturian in all this. Rajoy (the prime minister) made a huge mistake in being heavy handed, and no one I know in Spain supports what the police did - rather they are horrified. 

The best democratic result the separatists have ever achieved is 48% in regional parliamentary elections and it is doubtful that most voters wanted all-out independence. Many of them were casting a protest vote. To take a drastic step without a very large majority would be foolish and, in my view, a poor understanding of democracy. All my friends  agree that separatism in a spirit of generosity and a clear, hands-on vision for the future may be worth discussing but separatism for selfish, nationalistic motives, driven not by a positive objective but by the rejection of the status quo, is not to be condoned. 

Any coincidence in this story to any Brexit living or dead is entirely co-icidental. Brexit is, of course, a sensible cause that will shower all true-born Bris with gold  after it has been steered to a quick, happy and efficient conclusion (at minimal expense) by a competent team of Conservative politicians who have all their ideas perfectly sorted out and who are at peace with one another.





Some vide greniers and foires!

Please check before setting off

They also have a sister site where you can giveaway stuff or find stuff others are giving

Its all recycling - you know it makes sense!

If there are two in the same town on the same day, it could be a duplicate on the site or a second event

Black = Aude - Brown = Ariege


Samedi 11 Novembre

Coursan  Vide grenier

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Montgailhard  Vide grenier

Dimanche 12 Novembre

Bages  Vide grenier

Carcassonne  Vide grenier Fleming Moving

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Coursan  Vide grenier

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Lézat-sur-Lèze  Vide ta chambre

Pamiers  Vide grenier brocante

Saint-Girons  Puces du balagué

Saint-Paul-de-Jarrat  Vide grenier

Varilhes  Vide grenier brocante

Samedi 18 Novembre

Coursan  Vide grenier

Dimanche 19 Novembre

Belpech  Vide grenier de Noël

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Coursan  Vide grenier

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Rieux-Minervois  Vide grenier

Routier  Vide grenier du telethon

Pamiers  Vide grenier brocante

Saint-Girons  Les puces du champ de mars

Saint-Jean-d’Aigues Vives  Vide jouets et vide grenier

Varilhes  Vide grenier brocante











What's On 



ANGUS & JULIA STONE  20 oct Zenith Toulouse

ROYAL BLOOD 21 Oct Zenith Toulouse


KODALINE 17 Nov Bikini Toulouse


TRUST 21 Nov Bikini Toulouse

JAMIROQUAI 22 Nov Zenith Toulouse

LONDON GRAMMAR 5 Dec Zenith Toulouse

MOSCOW CIRCUS ON ICE 20 Dec Zinga Zanga Beziers

INDOCHINE 9 March Zenith Toulouse

BODYGAURD 9/10 June Zenith Toulouse

TOTO 26 March Zenith Toulouse





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Give away items


1 image and 25 words, plus contact details

All items for sale inc Motor vehicles, boats, caravans & trailers

25 €

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50 €

up to 8 images and 500 words, plus contact details - your own property web page linked to the "Property Page" section of the Flyer for 13 editions

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Finished artwork to be 756 pixels by 200 pixels landscape or 378 pixels by 400 pixels portrait

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25 €

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What's on feature advert

35 €

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