The French government has confirmed that it will introduce new aids to assist households which depend heavily on their vehicles. It comes as fuel prices continue to hit record highs with unleaded petrol now at €2 per litre once again.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said: “I have asked [Finance Minister] Bruno Le Maire to develop a measure specifically for those who cover many kilometres each day whether that be to get to work or for their work.”
The government is also considering taking steps to enable employers to more easily fund a proportion of their employees’ fuel costs.
Fuel prices have risen by more than 13 centimes per litre in the past week, figures from the Ecology Ministry released on June 7 show. This is a record.
The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil (the global benchmark) has risen by US$7 (€6.53) in the same time.
SP-95 fuel now costs an average of €2.10 per litre in France while E10 is now at €2.066 and SP-98 is at €2.16. Diesel is now at €1.9615 per litre.
It comes after a partial embargo on imports of Russian fuel and new sanctions taken by the EU against Russia within the context of the war in Ukraine. The bloc took a decision to reduce fuel imports from Russia by 90% in a bid to hit Russia’s finances.
The rising prices are also being hit by the summer “driving season”, when more people go on holiday or take their cars for a drive or trips to benefit from the nicer weather. The president of the Union français de l’industrie pétrolière (Ufip) has said that this commonly pushes prices higher.
Driving season is also a major phenomenon in the US where the country’s high petrol usage pushes prices up worldwide.
Opep, which brings exporters of fuel together under one organisation, has announced that it is set to increase production by 650,000 barrels per day in July and August. This means that it is set to supply significant amounts of fuel to the market, which should push prices down again.
Ms Borne has also confirmed other measures to help the public with rising inflation.
It comes after the government introduced the 18c refund per litre of fuel on April 1 (which is also set to last over the summer).
Inflation in France has reached very high levels in recent months, with national statistics bureau INSEE stating that it had hit 5.2% in May. The price of fuel has contributed significantly to this figure.
This has been a major driver of the new measures introduced by the government
Ms Borne said: “We want to provide a response to the poorest people in France with a food voucher, which will be introduced as part of the emergency bill for purchasing power.”
The prime minister said that the voucher would be paid directly into the bank accounts of those eligible, taking into account the number of children per household.
She also said that the government was also considering a way to improve access to organic, healthy food.
More details are set to be revealed after the legislative elections on June 12 and 19.