France plans $2.2 billion fuel rebate in bid to help motorists

The French government will provide a rebate of 15 euro cents ($0.16) per litre on gasoline and diesel to help households and businesses cope with surging fuel costs, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in a newspaper.

The measure will apply for four months starting April 1, costing the government about 2 billion euros, Castex told Le Parisien. He said it will help anyone who buys gasoline, specifically households and businesses, taxi drivers, truckers and fishermen.

The announcement, four weeks ahead of France’s presidential election, adds to more than 20 billion euros of tax cuts and subsidies introduced by the French government in recent months to cap electricity and gas bills.

France and other European countries are seeking to protect consumers and businesses from record energy prices, which have surged even higher with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Distributors of gasoline and diesel will apply the temporary discount at the pump and will be reimbursed by the government, the prime minister said.

That’s quicker than voting in a tax cut, and it will also benefit some companies exempted from fuel levies, he said. Castex encouraged energy companies and distributors to introduce their own discounts.