French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Monday that the government plans to bring in a one-time subsidy to assist low-income workers who are obligated to use their vehicles to get to and from work.
The finance minister made the announcement, which could affect up to 11 million households, on France Inter radio on Monday morning, saying that the current plan is for the subsidy to apply to those earning up to €1,600 per month.
The benefit could be extended to include up to 60 percent of the poorest people living in France, but the final income framework has not yet been announced.
The benefit is intended to help those who take their cars to work but can “no longer make ends meet because the price of fuel is too high,” said Le Maire.
As of Monday morning, the average price of Diesel is €2.06 per litre. Meanwhile, the price of petrol (SP95 – E5) is currently averaging at €2.09 per litre. For E10 petrol, the average price per litre is closer to two euros, standing at €2.03
Carburant : "Nous regardons si nous pouvons mettre en place une indemnisation plus généreuse pour tous ceux qui sont obligés de prendre leur véhicule pour aller travailler", déclare le ministre @BrunoLeMaire. "Ce serait évidemment en fonction du niveau de revenu"#le79inter pic.twitter.com/Li61mqoJJ4
— France Inter (@franceinter) July 4, 2022
Should the proposal be accepted by parliament, those who meet income and driving criteria will be able to take advantage of this fuel subsidy by logging on to the tax site and filling out an application for assistance. Then, the government will ensure that the applicant has a vehicle (by checking car insurance contracts) and does indeed meet the income criteria.
The proposal is for the fuel subsidy to be paid in one go at a fixed amount for all who fit the requirements, regardless of the distance driven to work (whether that be five or 30 km). That being said, frequent drivers, those who drive more than 12,000 km a year, will still benefit from a separate, pre-existing bonus specific to their situation.
The amounts of the subsidy have not yet been communicated and the timeline for when this would take effect is currently unknown, because the measure will first need to be voted on in parliament.
Currently, motorists benefit from a €0.18 cent subsidy per litre at the pump.
However, should the new payment for low-income drivers be put into effect, the current €0.18 subsidy would no longer be extended until the end of the year, as was planned, and would be instead be reduced “in stages.”
Other plans to ease the cost-of-living crisis have also been proposed.
The left-wing has suggested lowering the VAT – the consumer-consumption tax – associated with fuel.
However, President Emmanuel Macron’s government has said that multiple proposals would not be possible at the same time due to financial constraints, so it remains to be seen how this proposition will fair after being debated and voted on in parliament.