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French President Francois Hollande says he still plans to raise the top rate of income tax after his 75% plan was struck down on technical grounds.

In a national address on New Year’s Eve, Francois Hollande said the law would be redesigned, adding, “we will still ask more of those who have the most”.

However, the president did not mention the 75% figure, leading some to speculate that the move would be watered down.

Francois Hollande also promised “all efforts” towards cutting unemployment.

The number of jobless broke the three-million barrier for the first time this year, prompting Francois Hollande to say the trend must be reversed.

He has been criticized for lacking direction, and his popularity levels have plummeted, since he took power in May.

Francois Hollande says he still plans to raise the top rate of income tax after his 75 percent plan was struck down on technical grounds

Francois Hollande says he still plans to raise the top rate of income tax after his 75 percent plan was struck down on technical grounds

Francois Hollande acknowledged the “serious and legitimate” concerns of the public, and that there had been “fits and starts” in his first six months.

But the president insisted France would emerge from the financial crisis “sooner and stronger” than expected because of action by his government.

“We’ve set the course – jobs, competitiveness and growth – and I will not deviate. It’s the future of France,” he said.

The Socialist president said he would resubmit his flagship policy of raising income tax for those earning more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million) a year.

It was rejected by the Constitutional Council on Saturday because, unlike other forms of income tax, it was to be applied to individuals rather than households.

Francois Hollande said while the law would be “redesigned” its objective would remain the same – that those who could afford to do so should pay more to France’s effort to tackle its deficit.

The policy has angered France’s business leaders and the right-wing opposition, who say it discourages entrepreneurship and wealth-creation. It has led to some wealthy citizens, like the actor Gerard Depardieu, to say they would emigrate.

While the measure is popular with Francois Hollande’s supporters on the left, some analysts think it may be dropped or watered down, possibly by raising the income level at which it is paid.

“I suspect this tax will be shelved,” Philippe Gudin, an economist for Barclays and a former French treasury official, told Reuters news agency.

“For the [low amount of] revenue it would raise, the outcry it has provoked and the damage it has done to France’s image, it would be more sensible if it were quietly buried.”

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President Barack Obama has rebuked Republican candidate Mitt Romney, saying that anyone seeking to be president needs to work for all Americans.

Barack Obama told chat show host David Letterman that Mitt Romney was wrong to describe 47% of Americans as “victims”.

Earlier, Mitt Romney defended his remarks after secretly filmed video of a speech to donors became public.

He told Fox News he knew those “dependent on government” would not vote for him in November’s election.

Mitt Romney also decried the notion of government “redistribution”, calling it an “entirely foreign concept”.

Barack Obama told David Letterman that Mitt Romney was wrong to describe 47 percent of Americans as victims

Barack Obama told David Letterman that Mitt Romney was wrong to describe 47 percent of Americans as victims

More leaked video emerged on Tuesday, showing Mitt Romney saying Palestinians do not want peace in the Middle East.

The full video of the Florida fundraiser was also published by liberal investigative magazine Mother Jones.

In Tuesday’s Fox interview, Mitt Romney stood by his comments about the 47% of Americans who do not pay income tax. He said they support President Barack Obama and would never vote for him. He said his statement was “about the campaign”.

“I’m talking about a perspective of individuals who are not likely to support me,” he said.

“Those that are dependent on government and those that think government’s job is to redistribute, I’m not going to get them,” Mitt Romney said.

Mitt Romney says he expects Barack Obama to receive about half of the vote in the November election because of these voters.

The real problem, he added, was that so many people were not eligible to pay income tax because they had fallen into poverty.

Recent polls indicate that the election is likely to be a close contest, although an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday evening showed that Barack Obama’s approval rate has hit 50% for the first time since March.

In addition, the poll put the president ahead of Mitt Romney by 5% among likely voters polled across the nation. The poll had a margin of error of 3.6%.

On David Letterman’s show, Barack Obama said he told the US on election night in 2008 he would work for everyone, including those who did not vote for them.

“One thing I’ve learnt as president is you represent the entire country,” he said.

“There are not a lot of people out there who think they are victims” or simply entitled to benefits, Barack Obama said.

Barack Obama’s rebuke came at the end of a day in which more clips of Mitt Romney’s fundraising address emerged. In one, Mitt Romney said the Palestinians are “committed to Israel’s destruction”.

“The Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace,” he says in the video, adding that “the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish”.

But chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters news agency that Mitt Romney was wrong to accuse the Palestinians of not seeking peace.

“Only those who want to maintain the Israeli occupation will claim the Palestinians are not interested in peace,” he said.

In another clip, the former Massachusetts governor is shown discussing Iran’s nuclear programme, and warning that America itself could come under attack.

The first clips released on Monday showed the Republican candidate saying those who did not pay income tax would never vote for him.

“There are 47% who are with him [Barack Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,” he said.

Mitt Romney said in the video that his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

The video clips provided to Mother Jones are said to have been filmed at a $50,000 per head fundraiser at some point after Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee.

They were made public as the Romney campaign announced a new shift in strategy after several difficult days for the candidate.

Campaign advisers told the US media on Monday that Mitt Romney would speak more specifically about his budget plans and tax policy.

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