Petrol prices: Castex support for truck drivers, fishermen and farmers

ENERGY PRICES – “Not exposing ourselves, without protecting our businesses and our purchasing power”. As he had promised before the National Assembly on March 1 and as Emmanuel Macron had done the following day, Jean Castex unveiled a so-called “economic and social resilience” plan this Wednesday, March 16, presented as the government’s response to the economic fallout. of the war in Ukraine.

“Resilience in the sense of more resistance and autonomy for the coming years, but by being effective in the very short term”, explained Jean Castex during his presentation. The most important announcement for the French had already been made this Saturday by the Prime Minister in the columns of the Parisian: with the reinforcement of the “tariff shield” and the discount of 15 euro cents per liter of fuel for motorists and motorcyclists from 1 April at petrol stations. This for 4 months to absorb rising prices at the pump.

System extended to natural gas and LPG

The Prime Minister confirmed this Wednesday, unsurprisingly, that this device will be accessible to companies: such as taxis, transporters, truck drivers or even farmers. The device will also be expanded to include natural gas for vehicles and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sold in stations, he also specified.

The cabinet is therefore committed to ensuring that this reduction of 15 cents benefits carriers. “This represents a financial support of almost 1,500 euros on a full truck for 4 months,” said the prime minister. In the coming days, Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri must bring together the players in the transport sector to also define an “additional tool” that “can absorb the losses of recent weeks”.

The increase ultimately amounts to 35 cents per liter of fishing diesel for fishermen. This until the end of July. Finally, the state will provide an envelope of 400 million euros to finance support for breeders who are confronted with the rising costs of animal feed.

New support for energy-intensive companies

As you can see in the video at the top of the article, the state will also launch new aid that will benefit companies whose gas and electricity costs “represent at least 3% of their turnover and which could be at a loss in 2022”. It will “enable the management of half of the surplus of their energy consumption,” Jean Castex told his press conference.

He did not specify the costs that such a measure would represent for theEtat, while the government has already spent more than 22 billion euros to limit the rise in energy prices for households since the end of 2021, through its ‘tariff shield’.

Distributors, such as Total, must provide coordinated responses with the Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire, in order to reduce their margins as much as possible and thus the price at the pump.

“The state has not enriched itself on the back of the French”

Energy costs are significant costs, especially for steel and chemical companies and even for certain agricultural activities, which have asked for help in the face of rising oil, gas and electricity prices. In addition to the rise in fuel prices, the outbreak of the conflict and the introduction of Western sanctions against the Russian regime have completely disrupted many supply chains and the sales opportunities of certain exporters. “Industries that have already suffered from supply tensions due to the global recovery,” recalls Jean Castex.

“We are on the side of the Ukrainians, we will continue to help them with diplomatic and economic support,” as well as in the reception of refugees, the prime minister reaffirmed on Wednesday, adding that the past response has been sanctions against Russia. “We will not hesitate to tighten them up further if the situation calls for it”, the head of government warned, even though “we hope that reason will regain its rights”.

“We must prepare for a long crisis and accept that our decisions and tomorrow’s will have consequences for Russia and our own economy,” added Jean Castex. The prime minister eventually confirmed the extension of state-guaranteed loans (PGE), tax and social security deferrals and the partial business takeover system that “proved their worth” during the health crisis. These instruments “will be adapted to the specificities of this crisis”.

The state-guaranteed loan (PGE), which companies in difficulties have been able to take out since the start of the health crisis and until June 30, to support their cash flow, is being strengthened. The ceiling that companies can borrow will increase from 25% of their turnover to 35%.

“The state is and will be there,” the Prime Minister promised, recalling the measures already taken since the rise in inflation in France: the blocked gas tariff, the energy control, the inflation allowance of 100 euros paid to 38 million people or the revaluation of the kilometer allowance. “The state has not enriched itself on the back of the French”, the measures are “superior and more expensive than the increase in tax revenues”, Jean Castex also stated.

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