Eight changes coming in for residents of France in October

Cars, money, health: Keep up to date with what is new

Changes to what is in your baguette, electric car bonuses, home renovation grants and dental fees all take place from October 1
Published Last updated

Dental reimbursements are reduced

The amount which is reimbursed by the state for dental procedures is dropping from 70% to between 55% and 65%, depending on the treatment.

The remainder will be mostly covered by top-up insurance for patients who have one of these in place - but it means premiums for this are likely to rise from next year.

The measure is set to save €500 million from France’s annual social security bill, and is one of a number of cost-saving measures set to be implemented.

Read more: French state to reduce the amount it contributes to your dental bills

Less salt in baguettes

The maximum amount of salt allowed per 100g of bread will reduce from 1.5g to 1.4g (or 1.3g for certain types of bread).

It is part of wider measures to promote healthy eating.

Currently, French people eat on average around 2g – 3g more than the daily recommended intake of salt and it is hoped small changes like this will see the number drop.

Read more: How baguettes are changing recipe (again) in France

Mandatory attempts to resolve disputes amicably

People involved in disputes, such as between neighbours over work on properties or noise disturbance, must now attempt to resolve the situation amicably before the matter goes to a tribunal.

This rule will apply to cases where the value of compensation would be less than €5,000 or for certain disputes where the value exceeds this amount.

A commissaire de justice is now responsible for giving court summons in these situations, meaning you must discuss the issue with them beforehand, where they will attempt to mediate the situation.

You can read more about this here, and where to find a commissaire de justice in our article below.

Read more: Five things you can use the government’s new legal app for

Improvements to modest income savings account

The state-regulated Livret d'Epargne Populaire (LEP), a savings account for those on modest incomes, will see its maximum holdings increase from €7,700 to €10,000.

The LEP is offered by most of the main banks in France and currently has a 6% interest rate.

The Banque de France estimates almost 19 million people are eligible for an LEP account, although currently there are less than seven million open in France.

You can find out whether you are eligible for the savings account here.

Changes to benefits schemes

Two benefits will see changes from the beginning of the month.

The allocation adulte handicapé (AAH, or disabled adult allowance) will now be based on individual, and not household, incomes.

Up to 80,000 people previously not receiving the benefit will become entitled to do so, but the government said changes would only be made if beneficial to the recipient (i.e, if you would be paid more from the AAH via the old system, that payment will continue to be made).

The aides personnalisées au logement (APL) housing benefit has its annual re-evaluation in October. It will rise by 3.5% from October 1.

MaPrimeRénov programme to cover more works

The MaPrimeRénov Sérénité programme – angled towards those with the most modest incomes – will now cover 65% of the cost of eligible works, up from the current 50%.

It is focused on eco-friendly renovations that will increase the energy efficiency of a property.

In another change, those using the service will now be put in place with an advisor to help plan your project, both financially and structurally.

Read more: Professional advisors for home renovations

Decrease to certain unemployment payments

The amount of unemployment benefits paid to those in a territoires zéro chômeur de longue durée (zero long-term unemployment zone) will drop.

It will fall from 102% of the hourly minimum wage to 95%.

In these zones, the government works directly with employers to help unemployed people find work, and then covers their wage in place of the business.

There are over 50 of these zones in France, and you can find a map of them through the initiative’s official website.

More stringent rules on eco-car bonus

The ecological bonus paid out for purchasing a new electric car will now become dependent on how eco-friendly the manufacturing of the vehicle is.

The car will have to pass a minimum level of green production to continue to benefit from the bonus.

Some popular manufacturers such as Kia may be impacted by the penalisations.

Read more: How electric car grants are changing in France