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Currently, the government is making a “rebate” of 15 euro cents excluding tax (18 c€ including tax) on the price at the pump. Despite this, prices are back above €2 per litre. To sustain aid, it is out of the question to make a discount all year round, to everyone. This urgent measure would cost 8 to 9 billion euros per year. And, it lends itself to several criticisms. The first being that this aid affects both the rich and the poor indiscriminately, those who need to drive to work and those who drive for “leisure”.
Thus, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, announced on France Inter that the Government is looking to put in place more generous but also more targeted compensation. The first idea put forward had been to give a boost to “big riders” doing more than 12,000 km per year. A bar considered very high.
The Minister and the Government have obviously heard it “there are plenty of people who do not travel 12,000 km a year, who take their car to go to work and who can no longer make ends meet”. 12,000 km per year is more than 50 km per day. But, many people travel between 20 and 40 km daily and have no other way to get to work. This aid could be conditional on income to better target so-called “poor” workers. This would limit the budget for this aid and potentially increase its amount.
In the meantime, the discount of 18 cents per liter of fuel should be extended until the end of 2022.
Fuel: “We are looking at whether we can set up more generous compensation for all those who are obliged to take their vehicle to go to work”, declares the minister @BrunoLeMaire. “It would obviously be based on income level”#le79inter pic.twitter.com/Li61mqoJJ4
– France Inter (@franceinter) July 4, 2022
Our opinion, by leblogauto.com
Difficult position than that of the Government on this question of fuels. Gasoline and diesel are an important financial “manna” from the State budget thanks to the TICPE (domestic tax on the consumption of energy products) but also the VAT (value added tax). With nearly 40 billion euros per year, the TICPE (which applies to other energy products than NDLA fuels) also participates in the financing of local authorities for more than 12 billion euros (in 2019).
Aid versus cash receipts. Delicate equation. Without help, some workers will have more to gain from no longer traveling to work. At the same time, helping fossil fuels is not not a good signal sent for the environment and climate change. However, it is difficult to ignore the millions of French people who have no choice but to take a vehicle to go to work. Symptomatic of this “fracture” of transport, the customers of System U (the U stores) make on average 24 km for the races outside the cities.
According to INSEE, in 2017, more than 16 million working people (out of 24.6 million in total) were affected by journeys of more than 5 km, 80% of which were done by car. Depending on where they live, workers will have access to several modes of travel (public transport, bicycle, etc.) or almost exclusively the individual vehicle. Other working people have no choice but to drive because of their job, which requires frequent travel (nurse, home help, country doctor, etc.). And what about street vendors who are often the last “civilization” link for many campaigns?
In short, it will be impossible to satisfy everyone except to make savings of tens of billions of euros elsewhere, or find new cash inflows.
The Government is working on the sustainability of fuel aid, which currently translates into a discount of 18 cents per liter at the pump. Specific assistance for workers who have to take their car is envisaged. But, it would be conditional on income which will inevitably leave people on the floor.