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New Year brings changes to daily life in France

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New Year brings changes to daily life in France
January 1st sees a raft of measures affecting the daily lives of French workers and home-owners. Photos: Luc Jardon/Frederique Voisin Demery/Whatleydude/Flickr
10:30 CET+01:00
Wednesday sees a raft of measures affecting the daily lives of French workers and home-owners. From buying stamps and cigarettes to VAT on cinema tickets, here's our breakdown on what changes in 2014.

VAT

The top rate of VAT (sales tax) is up from 19.6 to 20 percent, with the intermediary rate – for hotels, restaurants and transport – rising from seven to 10 percent.

The lowest rate of VAT will stay at 5.5 percent, while tax on books and tickets for the cinema and live shows will drop from seven to 5.5 percent, and children under the age of 14 will be able to see a movie for the flat rate of €4.

Minimum wage

France’s minimum wage, known as SMIC, increases by 1.1 percent, from €9.43 per hour to €9.53, meaning a full-time worker on the minimum wage will receive €12 more each month.

Quotient familial

The family income tax break ceiling, known as le quotient familial, is lowered from €2,000 to €1,500.

This measure is designed to target the most wealthy. A couple with one child will be affected from household incomes starting at €58,000 net a year.

For a couple with two children, the threshold will rise to €64,000, and €72,000 for those with three children.

RSA

The Revenue Solidarité Active – a social welfare payment made to low-wage workers – is up by 1.3 percent to €499 for a single person, and €749 for an individual with a child.

Electricity

Electricity bills in France will see a two-percent increase in 2014.

Stamps

The cost of a French postage stamp has gone up by three cents, with the slower, eco-friendly “letter verte” now costing €0.61, and the priority stamp costing €0.66.

Cigarettes

A packet of cigarettes will go up by 20 cents on January 13th, with the average cost rising to €7 for the first time. Rolling tobacco, meanwhile, is set to go up by 50 cents per packet.

Public transport

In the Paris region, prices are up by three percent, except for the single Métro ticket, which remains €1.70, and the five-zone monthly Navigo pass which stays at €113.20.

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