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Fuel discount: France to phase out and replace with aid for workers

People on lower incomes who drive a lot for work will be able to apply new state support when it comes into effect in October

The government will gradually replace its fuel discount with a more targeted aid for workers who rely heavily on their cars Pic: jittawit21 / Shutterstock

[Update July 8 at 08:00 - The government has now announced that the new support for workers will total €100-€300, according to the recipient's income and how much they drive. It could benefit up to 11 million households.]

A new fuel aid for people on lower incomes who rely heavily on their cars for work will gradually replace the government’s universal 18-cent-per-litre fuel discount in the autumn, the finance minister has said. 

Read more: New aid for low paid workers who need to drive under review in France

“We will replace the 18 cents, which will be reduced to 16, 12, 10; we will do it progressively but, at the end of the year, there will be no more fuel discount, and from October 1 – at least, that is our proposal – we are putting assistance in place for workers,” Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 today.

People will be able to apply for the fuel aid through the Direction générale des finances publiques website. 

If “your home and your place of work are very far apart or if you drive around a lot because you are, for example, a carer, you should declare that you rely on your vehicle and you will have extra help,” Mr Le Maire said.

He added that the objective will be to “cover nearly the entirety of the [additional] fuel costs” people have to cope with as a result of rising prices. 

In France, SP98 is currently at €2.13 per litre, with SP95 at €2.02 and diesel €2.05, according to tracking site Carbu.com. Petrol prices have come down by about three cents per litre over the past week, while diesel is five cents cheaper. 

However, compared to the same time last year petrol prices are up by about 50 cents per litre, and diesel has increased by around 60 cents per litre. 

The government’s current fuel discount – which is automatically applied to the vast majority of fuels in all petrol stations across the country – has cost €800million per month, according to Mr Le Maire. The new scheme will cost €2billion per year. 

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