What changes in France in September 2019

The Navigo transport card is now free for disabled people and children - just one of the new changes in September 2019

September changes include a drop in gas prices, free transport for disabled people and children in Paris, and the mandatory flying of both French and European flags in schools, as la Rentrée begins.

Gas prices

Gas prices are set to drop by 0.9% compared to the previous month, marking the sixth consecutive monthly drop since April, energy regulator La Commission de Régulation de l’Energie (CRE) confirmed. This equates to 0.2% for clients using gas to cook, 0.5% for those who use it for cooking and hot water, and 1% for those using it to heat their homes.

Car grants

Diesel cars registered before September 1 are no longer eligible for the conversion grant. Eligibility rules to receive the grant were also tightened on August 1.

Early education

Children in France must now receive mandatory education from age three. Previously, the 1882 “Ferry law” had set this at age six.

Children must now attend some form of early years schooling from this age, whereas previously, part-time attendance and general absenteeism in children aged 3-6 was generally tolerated. With 97% of French children already in some form of schooling by this age, the new law will affect just 26,000 across the country.

Any parents who object will be subject to investigation by the inspector of national education, who will have the final say. Parents who do not conform risk a fine of up to €1,500.

The French flag in schools

In schools, collèges and lycées, it is now the law to display both the French and European flag, as well as the text “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”, and the words of the national anthem.

 

Income tax

The amount of income tax due on income from 2018, and declared in the spring of 2019, can now benefit from an updated tax rate, if your financial circumstances have changed.

This new rate will be used from this month onwards, and will be updated every year.

Navigo transport card now free for children and disabled people

Under new rules announced by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo in January, the Navigo transport card - used on transport networks in Paris and Ile-de-France - is now free for Parisian children aged 4 to 11 (children under 4 already travelled for free).

Disabled people aged 20 and under are also entitled to free transport under Navigo. For collège and lycée students, the card is available at 50% off.

Similarly, the Velib’ bike hire system is now free for young people aged 14-18.

Student insurance and social security

Students no longer have to make their own social security and insurance plans, and are now automatically part of their parents’ plans. Each student is set to receive a welcome email for healthcare insurance at their place of residence.

Student insurance will continue to be available for specific cases, but it will no longer be mandatory.

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