France is cutting the amount the rich can claim on the country’s generous state family benefit system, which has encouraged couples to have more children.

The government announced on Monday that it would lower the ceiling on tax deductions families with two or more children can take. The program ran a € 2.5 billion deficit last year. The reform will save € one billion annually by lowering deductions for the richest 12 per cent.

The benefits were introduced after World War II to boost France’s birth rate. And it worked. France’s fertility rate is two children per woman, above the EU average of 1.57.

The French are used to high taxes that ask more of the rich. But the reform has met some resistance.

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