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What changes about life in France from September 2017

The beginning of the month signals a new raft of changes in France - and some may even leave you better off, if ever so slightly. Here's what you need to know.

What changes about life in France from September 2017
AFP
Minicabs
 
From September 1st, minicabs – known as VTCs in France – must have a visible round, red label, different from those carried by taxis. 
 
Social welfare
 
The Revenu de solidarité active (RSA) – social welfare aimed at helping those on low wages – is set to increase by 1.62 percent from the beginning of September.
 
For an individual this means their monthly allowance will amount to a total of €545.48, representing an increase of €8.70.
 
The RSA is only applicable in certain cases. For more information on the RSA CLICK HERE.
 
 
Early retirement for disabled workers   
 
A medical commission will be in charge of assessing the requests of disabled workers who can't provide the necessary supporting documents to benefit from early retirement.
 
The change only affects people with a permanent disability rating of at least 80 percent. 
 
Disability allowance and pensions
 
People who have a job six months before they turn 62-years-old (when you can legally retire in France) will now be able to benefit from their disability allowance for six months after the legal retirement age. 
 
Veterans 
 
First increased last January, veterans' pensions are on the rise once again from September 1st.
 
Individual pensions will go up from €702 to €746.
 
 
Collective agreements 
 
The collective agreements that govern some of your rights as a worker now have to be published and accessible in an online database. 
 
Justice
 
From September 1st, the procedure for appeal for civil cases changes.
 
“It will no longer be possible to make a general appeal on the initial judgement. It will be necessary to clarify the points you are contesting or ask for it to be cancelled,” said the service-public.fr website. 
 
Avian flu 
 
New measures will be enforced on livestock farms to prevent another epidemic of avian flu breaking out in the south west.
 
At the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, hundreds of thousands of birds were culled in an effort to contain an outbreak of a virulent strain of bird flu sweeping Europe.
 
 

LIVING IN FRANCE

What’s changing about life in France in June 2019

At the beginning of each month, there are many changes in France. Here is an overview of what is coming into effect this June.

What’s changing about life in France in June 2019
Photos: AFP
Electricity prices going up
 
EDF (électricité de France) will be increasing electricity prices by 5.9 percent starting June 1st.
 
For the average household, this means that the cost of energy will increase around €85 per year, according to EDF estimations.
 
 
Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
 
The increase was proposed on February 7th by the CRE (commission de régulation d'énergie) in order to cover rising costs, but the government decided to wait until the end of winter to apply the price hike. Several news organisations (France Info, BFMTV) also cite the role of the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in delaying the measure.
 
Gas prices continue to fall
 
Gas prices will continue to decrease slight, by 0.45 percent, in the month of June. The reduction is part of measures taken in January to placate the 'yellow vests'. June, however, is the last month that these reductions are to be applied.
 
 
Photo: Philippe HUGUEN / AFP
 
Last chance to file taxes
 
Those living in départements numbered 50 through 976 have until midnight on Tuesday, June 4th to file their tax declaration online (everyone else should have filed already).
 
Reminder: despite the fact that it’s still necessary to file a tax return, 2018 is a “white year”, which means that, in order to avoid paying double the taxes in 2019, French taxpayers are allowed to skip 2018 except on “exceptional” income. 
 
“Exceptional” income are sums that are likely to be one-offs for 2018, like compensation for breach of contract (if the amount qualifies as taxable), one-time retirement allowances, income from stakes or profit-sharing schemes that are not part of an employee savings program and capital gains on movable or immovable assets. 
 
For more information, read our article on this year’s tax declarations in France.
 
Summer sales
 
The summer soldes (sales) will take place from Tuesday, June 26th through Tuesday, August 6th in most of France, and July 3rd through August 13th in the Alpes-Maritimes and Pyrénées-Orientales. Dates also vary slightly in overseas territories, and can be found here.
 
The dates and conduct of sales in France are strictly controlled by the Code de commerce, which permits these promotions twice a year – once in January-February, after the holidays, and once in summer. These are the only times when French retailers are allowed to sell at a loss, according to specific rules laid out by the Code de commerce.
 
 
Photo: Philippe HUGUEN / AFP
 
Consultation regarding fixed-line telephone numbers
 
The Arcep (Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes) is holding an online survey now through June 7th to ask users whether they want to be able to keep their landline telephone numbers, even when they move to a different region.
 
Currently, landline telephone users are obligated to change their numbers when the moving elsewhere in France, because these numbers are organised by region of residence (01 for Ile-de-France, 02 for the north west, etc.). Fixed-line users will now have a chance to make themselves heard on the subject.
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