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Depardieu heads to Belgium to side-step tax changes

ACTOR Gérard Depardieu has set up home in the small town of Néchin, in Belgium, as he looks to hide from the tax policies of François Hollande.

It had been reported in November that he was looking at property in the town which is just a few minutes drive from the French border and home to a number of similar French tax exiles.

Now local people have said that the actor, famous for his larger than life character both on and off screen, is now living in the area and joins other French families including the Mulliez family, owners of French hypermarket chain Auchan and Decathlon sports stores.

Earlier this year François Hollande announced the introduction of a 75% tax band on income over €1m, although it was stressed that it was a temporary measure and that it would only affect around 3,000 of the wealthiest families.

However, critics of the plan were quick to say that it would drive those hit by the tax change out of France taking with them valuable resources and future tax revenues.

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