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New French spending power bill will not be ready before end of June

The proposed law will aim to protect residents against inflation, which is estimated to have reached 5.2% over a year this month

The French government has promised new measures to help protect spending power, but the bill containing them will not be ready before the end of June Pic: eldar nurkovic / Shutterstock

A new bill containing measures aimed at protecting the spending power of people in France will not be discussed by France’s parliament before the end of June. 

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne said that the bill will aim to “continue containing the surge in energy prices,” for people in France, perhaps by prolonging the price freeze (bouclier tarifaire) on gas and energy tariffs. 

Read more: French energy bill cap will not cause 2023 price rise, says minister

The bill will first be presented to the Conseil des ministres, involving cabinet ministers, on June 29. 

It will then be debated in Parliament “immediately afterwards”, said official government spokesperson Olivia Grégoire. 

The proposed law will be the result of discussions between ministers before the legislative elections take place on June 12 and 19. 

Ms Grégoire had initially stated that the final bill would also be presented to the Conseil des ministres before the elections, but the time scale has now changed. 

Read more: France plans to bring in new measures to help people’s spending power

Inflation at 5.2% over a year in May 

This comes as national statistics institute Insee estimated that French inflation rates have accelerated to reach 5.2% over a year in the month of May. 

Until now, the 5% mark had not been exceeded since September 1985. 

In April inflation was at 4.8% over a year, which was already the highest rate in the past 37 years. 

However, since then, prices have risen by 0.6%, compared to a 0.4% increase between March and April.

The continued rise in consumer costs includes fuel prices, with Insee noting that after “falling last month, energy prices picked back up in line with a rebound in petroleum product rates.” 

Food costs went up by 4.2% this month – compared to 3.8% in April – and the cost of services rose by 3.2%.

France is, however, still one of the European countries with the lowest inflation rate. Germany’s rate was 7.9% over a year in May and Spain’s was 8.7%. 

Across the Atlantic in the US, two recent estimations suggest that inflation slowed in April, even though it remained at a very high level.

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