For members


Revealed: What will you receive from France’s €65bn cost-of-living aid package?

The French parliament has finally passed a massive €65 billion package of measures aimed at helping French residents with the spiralling cost of living. Here's a rundown of the help on offer, who it's available to and when it comes into effect.

After three weeks of sometimes heated debate, France’s parliament has adopted its multi-part purchasing power package to help mitigate rising cost of living and inflation.

In total, parliament approved a budget of nearly €65 billion for the whole package. 

It includes a raft of measures including price shields, tax rebates and grants. Here’s what is included and who will benefit.

Electricity and gas The government has voted to extend the tariff shield on gas and electricity prices until the end of the year: this means that gas prices will continue to remain frozen and that price hikes for electricity prices will be capped at four percent. 

For who: This applies to everyone who has a gas or electricity account in France.

When: The price freeze is already in effect and will continue until at least December 31st.

Fuel subsidy – The government’s fuel rebate (on petrol/gasoline and diesel) will be increased from €0.18 per litre to €0.30 in September and October, and then in November and December it will fall to €0.10. 

For who: All drivers (including tourists) – this is applied automatically at all fuel stations in France

When: The €0.18 per litre rebate is already in place and remains until August 31st, and rises to €0.30 on September 1st.

Pensions – The index point for pensions will be raised by four percent.

Who: This covers anyone who receives a French pension – roughly 14 million people – it does not affect anyone who gets a pension from another country.

When: From September 9th. 

Abolishing the TV licence fee – The annual TV licence raised €3.7 billion a year for public broadcasting, with the majority having gone toward France Télévisions, but has now been scrapped. It was €138 per household. 

For who: Any household with a television. This equates to about 23 million households in France who will no longer have to pay this yearly tax.

When: The was due to be levied on November 15th, but this year no bills will be sent out.

Tripling the Macron bonus – The maximum annual bonus – which is exempt from income and social security taxes – will be tripled.

It is a one time, tax-free payout that can be given to workers by their employers – if they chose to. Companies will now be able to pay up to €3,000 to their employees (and up to €6,000 for those with a profit-sharing scheme).

Who: This pertains to salariés (employees) whose businesses choose to offer this bonus.

When: The bonus can be paid between August 1st and December 31st.

Rent cap – Rent increases will be limited to 3.5 percent per year for existing tenants. Some cities already have in place their own rent control schemes, but the 3.5 percent cap is nationwide.

Who – This affects anyone who already has a tenancy agreement for a property in France (and also affects all landlords who are banned from making big rent hikes).

When – The 3.5 percent cap concerns annual rent increases that fall between July 2022 and June 2023.

Housing allowance – Those who benefit from personalised assistance for housing (APL) will see that increased by 3.5 percent.

Who: This pertains to those who qualify for governmental financial assistance with rent. Typically, this means low-income households. If you are already on APL – around 3.5 million people – the increase will be automatic, if you think you might qualify, apply through your local CAF.

When: The increase comes in your next payment, with the increased rate backdated to July 1st 2022.

Social benefits – The RSA top-up benefit will be increased by four percent (local authorities, who deal with RSA, will receive €600 million to help them finance and allocate this increase). Additionally, those who benefit from the ‘prime d’activité‘ (activity bonus) will see that value raised by four percent as well.

Who: Unemployed people below the age of 25 can qualify for RSA – this pertains to about 1.9 million people in France. The activity bonus is available to low-income workers – about 4.3 million people.

When: Catch-up payments will be in place from August 18th to September 5th. On September 5th, the updated payment will begin to be paid out.

Student grants – An increase of 4 percent for student grants (bourses) for higher education

Who: Students under the age of 28 who qualify for financial assistance in the form of grants. These students must qualify as ‘financially precarious’ for the school year of 2022-2023.

When: September 2022

Back-to-school grants – Families who meet certain income requirements are eligible for an allowance to help cover back-to-school costs – that grant will increase by four percent this year. There will also be an extra €100 subsidy for eligible families (with an additional €50 per child) paid “to those who need it most” according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in an interview with RTL. 

Who: Low-income families with children. You can test your family’s eligibility on the website This aid will impact 10.8 million households.

When: The one time payment will be paid at the start of the school-year in September.

The option to convert overtime days into extra cash – This is encompassed in two measures: increasing the ceiling of tax exempt overtime hours to €7,500 and opening the possibility for companies to buy back RTT days from their employees.

Eligible employees covered by the 35-hour week agreement accrue time in lieu if they work overtime, known as RTT days. Currently this time is taken as extra vacation days, but now employees will have the option to forgo the time off and instead be paid extra.

Who: For the buying back of RTT days, this applies to employees (salariés) who have an RTT agreement with their company.

For the increased cap on non-taxed overtime work, this applies to a range of employees, such as those who have 35-hour per week contracts and have their employer request that they work overtime or those who work beyond their part-time contract amount. You can learn more about whether you have the ability to declare overtime hours HERE

When: The RTT days buyout will run from between January 1st, 2022 to December 31st, 2025. For employees eligible for tax-free overtime compensation, the ceiling of €7,500 will only be in place for the year 2022.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Why is France’s 35-hour week such a sacred cow?

Pay rise for public sector workers – public sector pay will get a four percent rise in the index.

Who: Anyone employed in France as a fonctionnaire (eg civil servants, teachers, librarians).

When: This will be retroactive to July 1st

Assistance for some self-employed workers – A reduction in health and maternity insurance contributions will be introduced for low-earning self-employed workers. “Microentrepreneurs” will also benefit from a reduction in their flat-rate contributions.

Who: Self-employed workers whose monthly income does not exceed 1.6 times the minimum wage and who are registered as ‘microentrepeneurs’

When: TBC

The biometric carte vitale –  The Senate introduced this into the purchasing power package, but it is not a benefit. It will involve the implementation of a biometric carte vitale health card to “fight against social fraud” by adding an electronic chip with biometric data on it to health insurance cards. You can read more HERE.

Who: Everyone who is registered in the French health system and has a carte vitale (about 60 million people)

When: Lawmakers will begin plans to implement the plans in Autumn 2022, but it’s not clearly exactly what form the rollout will take.

How much will these measures impact inflation?

Some measures will likely be more effective than others. For instance, the extension of the tariff shield and increase of the fuel rebate in the early fall is largely to thank for France’s inflation level being two points lower than the European average, according to INSEE.

On the other hand, the tripling of the ceiling for the (optional) Macron bonus will likely not make a large difference. This is because it will likely not be widely taken advantage of, as last year only 4 million French people received the optional bonus, with the approximate average of the bonus having been only €500.

The pension changes will impact about 14.8 million people in France. However, according to economist Christopher Dembik, the revalorsation values are based on actual inflation and not on inflation expectations. “These revaluation measures will be too weak by the time they will be implemented,” Dembik said to French daily Le Parisien.

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For members


MAP: Which areas of France are set to see a population fall by 2070?

Forecasts predict that the French population in 2070 will be about the same size it is today - but the overall population will be considerably older and have seen a significant geographical shift.

MAP: Which areas of France are set to see a population fall by 2070?

National statistics agency Insee estimates that, by 2050, the population of France will peak at around 70 million. Twenty years later, it is expected to be about 68.1 million, compared to 67.8 million at the start of 2022, held up by migration as birth rates continue to fall.

In common with most European countries, the birth rate in France has been falling steadily for years.

By 2070, some 20 million residents will be aged 65 or more – that’s 29 percent of the forecast population, compared to 20 percent currently. 

And where those people live will also have changed quite significantly over the next 50 years, with the map showing a marked drift to the west. 

Insee’s projections, based on current population trends, show that demographic decline has already begun in Normandy, the Grand Est region in eastern France and Hauts-de-France in the north. 

MAP Parts of France set to be underwater as sea levels rise

Areas where the population is expected to fall

If current trends continue, the population of Normandy will fall by 460,000 people by 2070 from its 2018 figure, an average decline of 8,850 inhabitants each year over the period. In 2070, the region is forecast to be home to 2.9 million people.

The eastern Grand Est will see a decline of about 750,000 inhabitants, falling to 4.8 million by 2070. All départments, apart from the Bas-Rhin (which houses Strasbourg) will see population falls.

Meanwhile, population numbers in Hauts-de-France will fall by about 600,000, compared to 2018 figures, to 5.4 million. Currently the third most-populous region in France, it will fall to fifth in 48 years.

In decline since 2015, Centre-Val de Loire is expected to see a fall of 162,000 people by 2070, with the population dropping to 2.41 million, Insee said.

Bourgogne Franche-Comté in the east will see a 14 percent drop in population (about 200,000 people) to about 2.4 million to become one of the least-populated regions in France.

Areas with rising population

Population growth, the forecast suggests, will continue slowly until 2050 everywhere else in the country - but between 2050 and 2070, only Occitanie in the south and Pays-de-la-Loire in the west will see population numbers continue to rise. 

Occitanie’s population will jump by 824,000 by 2070 to about 6.7 million - a figure mostly driven by migration - while Pays de la Loire will see an increase of 430,000, reaching 4.2 million.

The south-west region of Nouvelle Aquitaine will see an increase of 420,000 people to reach 6.2 million by 2070, compared to 2018’s figures. But the region will also bear the brunt of the ageing population figures. In five départments, including Dordogne and Charente-Maritime, over 65s will make up 40 percent of the local population.

An additional 32,400 people are expected to live on Corsica in 48 years, taking the total number of people on the island to 371,000.

Brittany, too, will see an increase in population of 283,000 to reach 3.6 million by 2070, as will Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - which will see an increase of 283,000 by 2070, reaching a total of 8.65 million residents.

What about Paris and the Riviera?

The greater Paris Île-de-France region is predicted to see a rise and then a fall.

Île-de-France is expected to be home to about 12.53 million people by 2070 - an increase of 300,000 compared to 2018 figures, but down on the peak of about 12.75 million in 2050. It will also be the ‘youngest’ region of France, with just 22 percent of the population aged 65 or over, compared to an expected national average of 29 percent.

A similar rise and fall will occur in the southern Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region - which includes the Riviera and France's second-biggest city of Marseille - which will see the population rise to 5.23 million in 2050 before falling back to 5.17 million by 2070.

Predicted population in 2070 

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - 3.6 million people, a 283,000 increase on 2018

Bourgogne Franche-Comté - 2.4 million, 200,000 decrease

Brittany - 3.6 million, 283,000 increase

Centre-Val de Loire - 2.41 million, 162,000 decrease

Corsica: - 371,000, 32,400 increase

Grand Est - 4.8 million, 750,000 decrease

Hauts-de-France - 5.4 million, 600,000 decrease

Ile-de-France - 12.53 million, 300,000 increase

Normandy - 2.9 million, 460,000 decrease

Occitanie - 6.7 million, 824,000 increase

Pays de la Loire - 4.2 million, 430,000 increase

Nouvelle Aquitaine - 6.2 million, 420,000 increase

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur - 5.17 million, 120,000 increase