Energy cheque, food: French Parliament passes extra inflation measures

The new bill also includes extra funds for wood fuel for homes and eco-friendly house renovations. It is now set to be examined by the Senate

A photo of the Assemblée Nationale hemicycle in session
The text was passed by the Assemblée Nationale on first reading by 181 votes for, 137 against
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The Assemblée nationale has adopted several anti-inflation measures to boost buying power, notably an energy cheque of €100-€200 for lower-income households, and €230m for wood-heated homes.

MPs added extra touches to the 2022 budget overnight on Tuesday, November 8 (to Wednesday 9).

Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal, said: “The text has been noticeably enriched. Through this vote, the Assemblée nationale has adopted essential measures to continue to protect the daily lives of people in France.”

This budget amendment is the second of the year, and is designed to help support public bodies and private households against the rising costs of energy and fuel.

Standout measures include:

  • Energy cheque of €100-€200 for lower-income households (costing a total of €1.5billion)

  • Aid for farmers

  • €230million for households that heat their home using wood (whether pellets or logs)

  • €40million on food help

  • €8million to help with the re-evaluation of staff salaries at municipal healthcare centres

  • €29million extra for the MaPrimeRénov eco-friendly renovation aid made available

  • Removal of conditions and criteria restrictions in 2023 for eco-friendly home renovations

  • €5million in aid for press publications, to help with the rising cost of paper

The text was passed on its first reading by 181 votes for, 137 against, without the government having to resort to the controversial article 49.3.

Read more: Explainer: what is France’s article 49.3 and why is it in the news?

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne used the political mechanism more than once to push through her budget and social security bills last month. The mechanism allows the PM to unilaterally pass any bill concerning financial or social security issues, after discussion with the Conseil des ministres (Cabinet).

However, it has also been described as the ‘nuclear option’, because there is the possibility that it can cause the collapse of the government if it is followed by a vote of ‘no confidence’.

MPs from opposition parties Les Républicains and Socialistes abstained from last night’s vote, having felt that their objections had been heard and their amendments included.

The bill will now be discussed in the Senate.

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