NICOLAS Sarkozy has promised a tax freeze for all households and warned that France risked losing wealthy people to other countries if it taxed them more.
In a live TV interview last night, he also defended his pensions reform and said there would be no going back on the proposed retirement age rise to 62.
Sarkozy said France had a reputation as one of the European countries with the highest taxes and said any further rises would not be "realistic" and risked driving businesses out and hurting consumers.
"Along with Sweden we are the country in Europe with the highest taxes," the president said.
Sarkozy defended France's bouclier fiscal, which caps personal taxation at 50% of income regardless of their wealth.
He said France needs to do all it could to encourage foreign investment and keep its wealthy citizens here - however he ruled out scrapping the ISF wealth tax (impôt de solidarité sur la fortune).
"Before I was elected there were taxpayers who paid 100% - they earned €1,000 and paid €1,000. They all left the country," he said.
"I do not want L'Oréal - with its €17bn turnover and 64,000 staff - to leave for another country."
The L'Oréal empire, owned by French billionaire Liliane Bettencourt, is at the centre of a political donations and conflict of interest row.