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What changes in France from August 1st 2016

As usual the start of a new month heralds many minor changes that could have an impact on the lives of those living in France.

What changes in France from August 1st 2016
Photo: AFP

Here’s a summary of what you need to know about the changes in August 2016.

Navigo Pass

As expected there has been a slight rise in the price of the monthly travel pass for commuters living in the French capital.

The cost of the Navigo pass will rise from €70 to €73 per month.

The cost of a simple one way ticket rises by 10 centimes to €1.90 and the cost of a book of 10 rises by 40 centimes to €14.50.

Say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticketPhoto: clogsilk/Flickr

Electricity prices

More good news for anyone living in France who uses electricity. The regulated tariffs will fall by 0.5 percent for households and 1.5 percent for companies.

The slight fall in prices, which if we are honest will probably allow you to buy an extra demi a month, is due to a repercussion of a fall in the drop of market prices, says France’s energy regulation commission.

The country’s environment minister Segolene Royal however points out that we should be grateful, given that it is the first fall drop in tariffs in 10 years.

Tourist tax on Airbnb rentals

August 2016 also marks the official date when Airbnb starts charging France’s “taxe de sejour” or tourist tax on those renting apartments in most of France’s big cities.

The tourist tax which t French hotel industry long complained about was not being applied to Airbnb rentals is already being paid by those renting in Paris.

But from now on it will also be applied to apartments in Ajaccio, Annecy, Antibes, Avignon, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Cannes, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Malo, Strasbourg and Toulouse.

New guidelines prices for rent caps

Last August France introduced a new law that effectively set guidelines for rent prices, effectively rent caps. It sent the top rent price per metre squared based on several criteria. Although up until now it has only effected Paris and the Ile de France region.

Since then, Parisian landlords have had to play along with the rent-capping Loi Alur, which part of a bid to control rental prices in the capital, which have spiralled upwards by 42 percent over the last ten years. 

On August 1st 2016 new references took effect that determine the rent prices that landlords can charge.

To check whether you are paying the right rent prices in Paris, you can click here or here.

A law that essentially prevents a landlord from raising the rent prices between tenants except in certain circumstances has also been continued for a further year. 

The law applies only to certain towns and cities where demand far outweighs the number of apartments on offer.

Essentially if one tenant leaves, the landlord cannot just set a new price.

Changes to work tribunals

From now on, it won’t be so easy taking a case to the employment tribunal. In the past, filling out a simple form was all that was required.

But from now on anyone wishing to take an employer to an employment tribunal must send a request complete with reasons why you are bringing the case as well as copies of a whole list of documents. Or you can appear before the Conciliation Board to present your case.

Parking fees to stay the same
 
In a bid to boost the economy of Paris, motorists are going to have to pay to park in the city throughout August, continuing a rule change from last year. So between 9am and 8pm each day (besides Sundays and public holidays), drivers will have to cough up between €2.40 and €4 for an hour of parking.
 
The price of gas rises 
 
Gas prices will see a 2 percent increase in price this month. This includes a 0.7 percent increase for those who use gas cookers, 1.2 percent for those who use it for cooking and hot water, and 2.1 percent for those who use gas for heating. 
 
France's household gas prices have fallen 17.1 percent since January 1st.
 

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WHAT CHANGES IN FRANCE

What changes about life in France in May 2022?

A new government, May marches, flowers and public holidays as well as a rise in the minimum wage, tax deadlines, and the return of the Cannes Film Festival - here's what is happening in France in May.

What changes about life in France in May 2022?

Public Holidays

There are several public holidays in the month of May, but sadly two of the three fall on Sundays this year.

International Worker’s Day, or May Day, is on Sunday, May 1st. The holiday also coincides with the first Sunday of the month, when many museums offer free access. Though several businesses will close their doors on May Day, some museums will stay open and offer free entry, like the Air and Space Museum.

The other two public holidays are May 8th (Victory in Europe Day), which will also fall on a Sunday, and May 26th (Ascension) which will fall on a Thursday. May 8th is marked with military parades and remembrance events in towns and cities around France.

READ ALSO Why 2022 is a bad year for public holidays in France

May Day

As we mentioned, May 1st falls on a Sunday this year but although there is no extra day off work the other May Day traditions remain in place – notably trades union demonstrations and marches and the giving of the lucky lily-of-the-valley flowers.

School holidays end

Schools in zone B (northern France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) have already returned after the Easter holidays, but schools in Zone A (central France) restart classes on Monday, May 2nd while schools in Zone C (Paris and south west France) go back on Monday, May 9th). 

New government

The newly re-elected president Emmanuel Macron is shaking up his government, with Prime Minister Jean Castex having announced that he will resign.

This allows Macron to create a new top team of ministers and appoint a new PM, whose focus will be on fighting the parliamentary elections in June.

Voter Registration Deadline

If you are a French citizen but are not yet registered to vote for the parliamentary elections, then do not delay because you have until Wednesday, May 4th to do so online and until Friday, May 6th to do the process in person (either at your town hall or by the post).

READ ALSO When are the parliamentary elections and why are they important?

Candidate deadlines

Aspiring deputés (the French equivalent of MPs) must file their declaration of candidacy with their respective préfecture between Monday, May 16th and Friday May 20th. 

Tax Deadlines

May brings the first deadlines for the annual tax declaration – compulsory for almost everyone in France.

If you choose to file your tax returns on paper, the deadline is May 19th, 2022, regardless of where you live. For the online declarations, you have until May 24th if you live in the départements 1 to 19, and until May 31st 2022 for the départements from 20 to 54. For the remaining départements, you have until June 7th, 2022 at midnight.

READ ALSO The French tax calendar 2022

Minimum wage increase

Due to inflation, the minimum wage automatically increases on May 1st. INSEE, the national statistics bureau of France, has specified the minimum wage must increase by 2.65 percent (or €33) starting May 1st – this means that the gross hourly minimum wage will increase from €10.57 to €10.85.

Benefit increases

In line with the minimum wage increases, there will also be an increase of 1.8 percent to certain benefits including the RSA, family allowance and disables persons allowance. The back-to-school grant that families get in August will also increase to €376.98 for children aged 6 to 10, €397.78 for those aged 11 to 14 and €411.56 for teenagers aged 15 to 18.

Jobseekers training

A new payment system comes into effect for jobseekers who are undertaking extra professional training – trainees aged 16-18 will be paid €200 a month instead of the current €130. For trainees aged between 18 and 25, it will be €500, and €685 per month for those aged 26 and over.

Black boxes in cars

All new cars on sale in France are now required to be fitted with a ‘black box recorder’ similar to those in planes, in accordance with an EU measure voted into place in 2019. The measure will be extended to all cars on sale, including used cars, by 2024.

Bac delays

Initially scheduled for mid-March, the speciality tests for the general and technological baccalaureate have been postponed to May 11th-13th due to disruptions caused by the fifth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic. 

The Cannes Film Festival 

The 2022 festival will take place from May 17th to 28th at the Palais des festivals et des congrès in Cannes. It will be the 75th edition of the world renowned festival.  

Bubble Museum

The new bubbles, balls and inflatables exhibition at the Grand Halle of La Villette in Paris, will let you continue diving into ball pits until August 21st. 

VIDEO Check out Paris’ new bubble exhibition 

Deadline set for student grants

If you are interested in obtaining a student grant, student social housing, or aid for the 2022-2023 academic year, you have until May 15th to apply. According to the official website, even if you do not have all the elements required for the application, it is still important to fill out the application by the stated deadline.

A new increase in the interest rate?

The tax-free, government-regulated savings account known as the Livret A – used by over 55 million French people – may increase its interest rates due to inflation starting May 1st, 2022. For the moment, no official announcement has been made. But if this announcement is confirmed, then it will be a first in the history of the Livret A. Usually, the rate of the Livret A and the Livret de développement durable et solidaire (LDDS) can only be increased twice a year, specifically on February 1st and August 1st. The rate of the Livret A already changed on February 1st this year, from 0.5 percent to 1 percent. 

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