A boost for all French people. Faced with rising fuel prices, Jean Castex announced in an interview with ParisianSaturday 12 March a “discount at the pump of 15 cents per liter”. This measure will apply from 1 April for a period of four months. Franceinfo answers three questions about its implementation.
How does this discount work?
Prices of all fuels, especially diesel, have been rising continuously in France for more than two months. A liter of diesel was worth 1.8831 euros in the first week of March, but at many gas stations the prices are now well above 2 euros. To respond to this outbreak, the government has therefore decided to “discount at the pump of 15 cents per liter”† Thereby, “for every 60 liters you save 9 euros”illustrated Jean Castex.
This measure, which will cost the State about 2 billion euros, affects both households and companies, the Prime Minister said in his interview with Parisian† The aim is to help all French people, especially those who use their vehicle the most. “YOUAn independent nurse, who travels many kilometers per month, for example who refuels weekly, benefits more from this ‘discount’ than someone who only goes to the pump once a month”marked the Parisian in another article.
It will also apply to “all fuels including crude oil”, which only excludes E85, the prime minister’s office explained to the newspaper. The discount is not visible on the prices displayed at the entrance to the stations, but will be settled at the time of payment, at the cash register or by credit card at the pump. †All technical arbitrations” on this point “not yet delivered”said Matignon. However, the aim is for the discount to be automatically applied to the 11,000 stations in France.
The State will then repay this discount to the distributors. On Saturday, Jean Castex asked them, like oil tankers, to “make an additional gesture” to the benefit of the consumer. †How could the French understand that they pay a full tank of diesel for 2 euros, while the oil companies are still making huge profits? noted the prime minister in his interview with Parisian. If the state makes an effort of 15 cents per liter, and if they make an effort of, say, 5 cents, then it is indeed 20 cents that should end up in the pocket of the French.
Why does the measure only come into effect in April?
With this discount, the government wants to respond quickly to rising fuel prices. But distributors had to be given time to organize themselves for the application of the measure, the management explains to the Parisian† Therefore, it will not come into effect until April 1 and is valid until July 31.
If prices fall during this period, Matignon will reconsider this discount, according to AFP. However, this scenario is under consideration “unlikely” by the executive branch. Indeed, the rise in oil prices started a few months ago, production does not arrive fail to keep pace with the strong global economic recovery, and it was accentuated by the war in Ukraine.
Why has the government not decided to lower the fuel tax?
The consumer association CLCV welcomed a “specific answer” of the executive to the rise in prices, but regrets that we have to wait until April 1 for its implementation. The general deputy of 40 million motorists liked the gesture “just normal” since “the State is currently reaping VAT revenues that exceed the planned budget”† The Association of Rural Mayors of France reacted in a similar way on Sunday, calling for a cut in the VAT on fuels to 5.5% to lower prices at the pump.
However, Jean Castex explained the day before that the government had ruled out a fuel tax cut, which would require a law and… “would take longer”. †Less taxing polluting energy would send the wrong signal, once again justified the Prime Minister to Parisian. Also, if you lower taxes, you never raise them. He pointed out that “this discount helps everyone, including tax-exempt professionals”†