After IMF head Christine Lagarde provoked international furore by insulting Greeks laboring under severe austerity, she has been accused of hypocrisy over her tax-free salary of $467,940.
The French woman opined "As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax" adding "I think they should also help themselves collectively." How? "By all paying their tax. Yeah." (DIgital Journal)
Now Lagarde's hypocrisy has been exposed as reports cite her annual tax-free salary of $467,940 and an allowance of $83,760,in additon to a package other tax-benefits. The IMF chief in fact earns more than the President of the United States, courtesy of her diplomatic status.
Unlike Greek workers and pensioners who have endured drastic cuts in wages and pensions, Lagarde enjoys an automatic annual pay increase linked to inflation.
The Daily Mail quotes Greek-born economist Vicky Pryce who said Lagarde had failed to grasp the basic economics of the Greek situation and "If people paid the tax they were due to pay it would make hardly any difference."
Tax expert Richard Murphy was also quoted by the DM questioning "How can someone who is living tax-free, way beyond the means of the Greek parent who can’t feed their children, say 'tough, you’re living in austerity, you’ve got to keep us happy'?"
Lagarde is now attempting to rectify her insensitive gaffe by saying her comments applied to the rich tax dodgers of Athens rather than the populace of Greece she actually referred to. Her remarks have likened her to the other pompous over-indulged French woman, Marie Antoinette, who was beheaded following her famous "let them eat cake" remark, directed at the French peasants.