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France set to increase fuel refund from 18 to 30 cents in September

The measure, when added to another refund announced by TotalEnergies, could reduce the price per litre to just €1.50, but critics remain sceptical

A TotalEnergies logo sign against blue sky

When added to the 20 centimes announced by TotalEnergies, the higher refund could see prices of €1.50 per litre at some stations Pic: sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

The French government is to offer a 30-cents per litre ‘refund’ on fuel in France, which, when added to the 20 cents announced by TotalEnergies, could see prices of €1.50 per litre at some stations.

In a ‘compromise’ agreement with opposition party Les Républicains (LR, which had called for even further measures), Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on July 23 that the government would be in favour of raising the at-pump refund from 18 cents to 30 cents per litre in September and October.

He said: “The refund could go from 18 to 30 cents in September and October, and then to 10 centimes in November and December.”

This means that in September and October, prices could reach as low as €1.50 per litre at the pumps, he said, if the refund is added to the 20 cents per litre discount offered by energy giant TotalEnergies on July 22. 

The €1.50 threshold had been repeatedly called for by LR.

This refund is set to remain at 20 cents from September to November, and drop to 10 cents in December.

Mr Le Maire also said that he would postpone the transport fuel allowance that was set to be targeted at heavy drivers and less well-off households. He added that the government would provide a specific measure for "small rural stations", something that LR had also suggested.

The Les Républicains group said that it was satisfied by these announcements, and therefore withdrew its amendments. 

Véronique Louwagie, from LR, said: “We were right to support this proposal to have fuel at €1.50 because we are getting there, and people in France can thank us for persisting.”

Yet, the measures have received some criticism from opponents.

“They’re announcing something (the litre at €1.50) which will be true in September, no longer be true in October, even less true in November and no longer true at all in December [because of inflation]”, said communist MP Nicolas Sansu.

Similarly, independent MP Charles de Courson said that the rarity of Total petrol stations in rural areas meant that “you cannot add the two” measures to arrive at the €1.50 threshold.

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