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IMF Boss Lagarde, Who Lectured Greeks to 'Pay Up', Pays No Taxes Herself

IMF boss who caused international outrage when she suggested that Greeks should pay their taxes earns a tax-free salary

- Common Dreams staff

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund managing director who provoked an angry reaction from the Greek people after telling them to pay their taxes, does not pay tax on her own salary.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde. In an interview last Friday, Lagarde said she had little sympathy with the Greek people -- preferring to concern herself with the plight of starving children in Africa’s Sahel region.

“I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time,” she said. “All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.”

On Tuesday Lagarde admitted that her $467,940 IMF annual salary and $83,760 of additional allowances are entirely tax-free.

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The Guardian/UK reports:

Christine Lagarde, Scourge of Tax Evaders, Pays No Tax

Christine Lagarde, the IMF boss who caused international outrage after she suggested in an interview with the Guardian on Friday that beleaguered Greeks might do well to pay their taxes, pays no taxes, it has emerged.

As an official of an international institution, her salary of $467,940 (£298,675) a year plus $83,760 additional allowance a year is not subject to any taxes.

The former French finance minister took over as managing director of the IMF last year when she succeeded her disgraced compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was forced to resign after he faced charges – later dropped – of sexually attacking a New York hotel maid.

Lagarde, 56, receives a pay and benefits package worth more than American president Barack Obama earns from the United States government, and he pays taxes on it.

For many years critics have complained that IMF, World Bank, and United Nations employees are able to live large at international taxpayers' expense.The same applies to nearly all United Nations employees – article 34 of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations of 1961, which has been signed by 187 states, declares: "A diplomatic agent shall be exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal."

According to Lagarde's contract she is also entitled to a pay rise on 1 July every year during her five-year contract.

Base salaries range from $46,000 to $80,521. Senior salaries range between $95,394 and $123,033 but these are topped up with adjustments for the cost of living in different countries. A UN worker based in Geneva, for example, will see their base salary increased by 106%, in Bonn by 50.6%, Paris 62% and Peshawar 38.6%. Even in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, one of the poorest areas of the world, a UN employee's salary will be increased by 53.2%.

Other benefits include rent subsidies, dependency allowances for spouses and children, education grants for school-age children and travel and shipping expenses, as well as subsidized medical insurance.

For many years critics have complained that IMF, World Bank, and United Nations employees are able to live large at international taxpayers' expense.

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