France's new plan to help motorists with rising fuel costs

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France's new plan to help motorists with rising fuel costs
Fuel nose units at a petrol station in Quimper, Brittany, western France (Photo by FRED TANNEAU / AFP)

Fear of rising fuel prices has taken hold in France, after the government cut the subsidy. In response, the French prime minister has already begun laying out plans for what future help it will offer motorists.


Fuel prices are cause for concern in France again, after the government's fuel subsidy - which ran from September until mid-November - decreased recently.

The subsidy previously awarded motorists a €0.30 per litre rebate at the pump, and it was decreased on November 16th to a subsidy of €0.10 per litre of fuel, which will remain in place until December 31st.


With concern rising over high fuel costs, the French government has already begun discussing a possible replacement for the subsidy.

In an interview with French news organisation Les Echos, the French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, referenced plans for a  "working fuel allowance" that would become available at the start of the new year for French people who rely on their cars for long commutes to work.

According to Borne, the successor to the blanket fuel subsidy will be income-based. The prime minister told Les Echos that the "working fuel allowance" would "benefit households in the lowest five income brackets", i.e. half of all households in France.

As of November 18th, the government's plan was for these households to receive a first payment in January.

"We are still working on the scale [of the payment], with the intention of significantly helping those who make a long journey to work," Borne told Les Echos.

The French government discussed a similar proposal over the summer, prior to the extension of the fuel subsidy. At the time, President Emmanuel Macron's coalition had envisioned a targeted aid €100 to €200 for drivers who relied on their vehicles to get to work, depending on income level. 

As of 2017, three-quarters of the 24.6 million working people in France surveyed by INSEE used a car to get to work. 


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