France is offering?,? 100 “inflation premiums” for low-income people to help offset dissatisfaction with rising fuel prices

France is offering?,? 100 “inflation premiums” for low-income people to help offset dissatisfaction with rising fuel prices


Amid record fuel prices, France has announced that it will give low to middle income people an “inflation bonus” of € 100 and promised to freeze gasoline prices to curb growing dissatisfaction with rising prices and rising costs of living.

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Amid record fuel prices, France has announced that it will give low to middle income people an “inflation bonus” of € 100 and promised to freeze gasoline prices to curb growing dissatisfaction with rising prices and rising costs of living.

“Of course we want to protect the French, especially those who work hard and take full advantage of these price increases,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of the upcoming presidential elections, which will take place in six months. Experts argue that President Emmanuel Macron is trying to limit the damage to his economic performance from rising energy prices.

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The country’s prime minister, Jean Castex, said the one-time “inflation payout” would be granted to anyone earning less than € 2,000 net a month, including private and public sector workers, the self-employed, job seekers and retirees. Distribution of the money would begin in late December.

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Castex said it would affect about 38 million people, and gasoline prices would also be “frozen for all of 2022”.

He added that the threshold of € 2,000 will be calculated per person rather than per household and that the government will stick to its budget deficit target of 5 percent of GDP for 2022 by offsetting the payout with new incomes and household savings.

As gasoline prices have risen steadily over the past few weeks, the government has faced increasing pressure to lower taxes paid at the pump, which can be as much as 60 percent of what motorists pay.

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The payment will be made shortly before the three-year anniversary of the anti-government gilets jaunes or yellow vests protests, which began in autumn 2018 as a motorist revolt against the fuel tax.

Last weekend, small protests by Gilets Jaunes took place at roundabouts in some rural areas and small towns. The government absolutely wants to prevent this escalation into fuel blockades or growing street marches.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire argued that the move would be costly for public finances and would also amount to a subsidy for fossil fuels when the government tried to wean the economy off it.

(With contributions from agencies)

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