Applications for France’s fuel aid have been extended for an extra month due to a low uptake with only five million of the ten million people eligible having so far made a claim.
The scheme is aimed at workers with modest incomes who drive to work or use their vehicle when working.
As of today (February 13), less than five million of those eligible have signed up, despite payments already starting to reach individuals.
In light of this, Finance Minister Bruno le Maire announced applications will be open until the end of March, as opposed to late February, the original scheduled end to apply.
An already ‘budgeted’ scheme
This comes after calls from minister for Democratic Renewal and government spokesperson Olivier Véran on Friday for people eligible to apply for this as soon as possible.
“It is budgeted, there is no trickery, we want everyone to be able to have this allowance. There are still five million people who have not applied,” he said.
The fuel allowance is a one-off payment for 2023 that applies to all types of road vehicle, except bicycles and scooters. Payments are made by bank transfer.
Those eligible must also fall into the one of the five lowest income bands for tax purposes. This means individuals who had an annual taxable income per household ‘part’ of €14,700 or less in 2021.
The scheme is not limited to one applicant per-household; if both adults in a couple meet the criteria, both can receive the payment.
You can see if you are eligible for the scheme here.
To apply, you will need information including your fiscal tax number, licence plate number; bank account details, and a declaration d’honneur (a sworn statement) that you will only use the money for fuel.
A new discount at the pump?
The news comes after Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, hinted that the company could reintroduce a discount on fuel prices directly at the pump.
On the matter, Bruno le Maire said that TotalEnergies “has made promises and that it is better in general that promises are kept.”
There is no confirmation of what the policy will entail, however; “it will be up to [the company] to determine” the level of reduction, added Mr le Maire.
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