France eyes petrol vouchers for low-income households to ease spike in energy prices

French ministers floated the possibility of petrol vouchers for low-income households on Monday, as President Emmanuel Macron's government seeks to limit the damage from surging energy prices to his economic record six months from a presidential election.

The government has already scrambled in recent weeks to cap gas and electricity prices and increase handouts to help the poor pay winter heating bills as energy prices jumped worldwide on the strength of the post-pandemic economic recovery.

With economic growth set to top 6% this year as the COVID-19 crisis subsides, the economy had been viewed as Macron’s strong suit heading towards the April election, in which he is widely expected to seek a second five-year term.

But the price spike could hurt his record by eclipsing purchasing power gains during his presidency, which were fuelled largely by tax cuts.

As petrol prices have steadily climbed in recent weeks, the government has faced growing pressure to cut taxes paid at the pump, which can amount to up to 60% of what drivers pay.




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