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

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said food price controls are also being looked into

An image of Bruno Le Maire

France’s finance minister has said that there will be a fuel price aid included in the spending power bill set to be presented this week Pic: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

A measure aimed at helping people who need to drive for work to cope with rising fuel prices should be included in France’s long-awaited spending power bill, the finance minister has said. 

Bruno Le Maire said during an interview on France Inter this morning (July 4) that the aid would be targeted at people who earn less than €1,500, €1,600 or €1,800, for example.

“It has not [yet] been decided, [but] I am putting the proposal on the table,” he said. “It is a type of compensation which will concern all those who work and are obliged to take their cars. 

“It must be concentrated on those who are on a low or medium income.” 

Read more: France may extend 18-cent-a-litre fuel discount until end of 2022

Mr Le Maire added that he is proposing food product promotions of up to 50%, while at the moment they cannot exceed 34%.

Since 2018, the loi Egalim forbids supermarkets to offer more than 34% discount on food promotions, to protect the margin made by local producers/farmers but equally to keep competition between supermarkets fair.

Only in some cases, where food products are nearing their expiry date, can supermarkets go above this 34% limit, but the discounts will depend on the specific store.

Food prices are to be controlled, and Mr Le Maire said: “We will not let profiteers make the most of the inflation crisis. 

“We are going to make checks across the whole sector, to see if from the factory to the distribution depot, via transport and storage, any shocking margins are being made. 

“Those who are profiting from [the situation] will be penalised.” 

He also announced that government-guaranteed loans for businesses affected by the war in Ukraine will now be extended until the end of 2022, while the scheme had originally been intended to end on June 30. 

The spending power bill is set to be presented to France’s Conseil des ministres cabinet at the end of the week. 

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