In France, presidential candidate proposes taxation for robots

Benoit Hamon, French Socialist Party’s candidate for the upcoming French presidential elections, is proposing the introduction of taxes for robots as a way to compensate human works whose jobs become obsolete because of technological advancements. In explaining his proposal, Hamon notes that ‘When a worker is replaced by a machine, the wealth created benefits the shareholders. I propose, therefore, to tax this wealth—by applying the social contributions on the whole of the added value and not just on the work’ (Motherboad translation). The proposal comes in the context of an ongoing debate on the introduction of a ‘universal basic income’, an idea discussed in countries such as India, Scotland, and Finland, among others.