After the energy check to help households cope with rising gas and electricity prices, the government is now considering “protective measures” to mitigate the effects of soaring fuel prices, which are reaching highs. record levels. But these measures are a real headache for the government, primarily for technical reasons. Finding the right mechanism for fuel is more complicated than for gas and electricity. According to information from franceinfo, three main avenues are being studied: a fuel check like there is an energy check, a reduction in taxes which represent more than half the price of the liter, or a tax deduction based on actual expense claims: the more people drive, the more they claim.
All of these measures have flaws, however. It is much more difficult to shoot and distribute a fuel check than an energy check, admits a ministerial source. For equal pay, it is difficult to identify those who are really penalized by the increase in the price of fuel. Lower taxes concern everyone and not just the most modest, including “those who drive an SUV and use it to go to the beach”, explains an adviser to the executive. Finally, the real costs only concern those who pay income tax, so the mechanism would not affect the most modest.
With oppositions putting pressure on the government, this puzzle may not be resolved immediately. It will not go as quickly as for the energy check and then the gas price freeze, we tell Matignon. Oil prices are being watched closely to see how long the rise could continue. Clearly, one should not expect announcements from Prime Minister Jean Castex on the television news tomorrow.
And the idea of these “protective measures” is not unanimous within the government. Two lines clash. On the one hand, there are those who scrutinize the regional press, where the rise in fuel prices regularly makes the headlines. For them, this increase becomes a political issue. While the oppositions do not stop making proposals, they believe that a reaction is mandatory, especially not to give the feeling of undergoing. On the other side, there are those who slow down, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance in the lead. At Bercy, consistency is required: the government has put billions on the table to carry out an energy transition policy, to make reducing carbon emissions a priority.
“You can’t shake when the price of fuel goes up.”a government adviser
Despite these obstacles, Emmanuel Macron repeated in the Council of Ministers that he wanted to be able to draw his arsenal of measures as soon as he deemed it necessary. Ministers are therefore asked to keep working.