Measures in Europe to cushion the shock of record inflation

PARIS.– Reduction in fuel prices, energy vouchers, food vouchers, social assistance, etc. European states have mobilized to dismember inflationary shock who reached the euro zone this week record level of 8.9% per year. In this plethora of measures, France and Italy are the most liberal countries.

For months, European states have been operating in dispersed order with varying financial sums. France and Italy They have already released around 50,000 million euros and Germany Almost 30,000 million. Spain, Holland, Belgium, Poland They are also stepping up measures to mitigate the effects of the rise in the cost of living for their fellow citizens, in the face of inflation which has reached a record figure of 8.9% in the euro zone and well beyond. It could reach up to 10% in the coming boreal fall. As with local forms, these measures are essentially expressed around two main types of aid: “Vouchers” in the most modest housing and a “tariff shield” to offset the rising costs of energy and fuel.

These plans definitely help losses will increase Despite the fact that after “all it takes” Emmanuel Macron During the Covid-19 pandemic, the idea was to straighten out the bloc’s public finances. For their part, Spain, Italy and Great Britain have decided to create a tax on excessive profits of energy companies, While its application in France seems more debatable.

In Italy, Mario Draghi He is preparing a final gift before ending his mandate prematurely after announcing his resignation. The Prime Minister is preparing a new device to support purchasing power of 14.3 billion euros. considered as a help “Emergency Response” Which will be added to the 33,000 million euros already distributed. This would make Italy the most liberal country in the region, along with France, whose plan of an additional 20 billion euros voted last week by the National Assembly will bear the state bill by autumn boreal to around 45 billion euros.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, after his resignation on July 21

The details of the Italian plan will be defined in a decree which will be published next week and which is still under discussion. The same aid already granted should be extended for several months. above all, abolition of certain tariffs in the electricity and gas sector, This represents 20% of the electricity bill, which can be increased until the end of the year. This too A reduction of 30.5 cents per liter for petrol and diesel and 10.5 cents for LPG —Already extended until August 21 and may continue until mid-October. All this represents a bill of 940 million euros for the Italian state. And it will be the same with VAT on natural gas reduced to 5%. It can also be extended to those who earn less than 35,000 euros per year Lightning “Social Bonus” of 200 euros, which was distributed at the beginning of July to 31 million workers whose annual income was less than 12,000 euros. Despite its very high cost, the idea was supported by Draghi, opting instead for the abolition of VAT on certain food products.

On the contrary, it was the decision he preferred. Poland, where inflation reached 15.6% in June. Warsaw It suspended VAT on food products and reduced VAT on electricity, gas and domestic fuels. in nature Belgium You Netherlandswho reduced it, UKRishi Sunak, one of the candidates to succeed Boris Johnson, is proposing to suspend VAT on household energy, a measure which would cost the country around 5 billion euros to add to the 17 billion aid package adopted at the end of May . will go

This new aid was partly financed in Great Britain by a . will be financed by Taxes on energy giants’ superprofits. And although Spain and Italy would do the same, the French government opposes those who propose it in the country, especially in left-wing regions. The official explanation is that these super profits are made abroad, thus escaping French tax avoidance. An argument which could however be modified “if these companies do not participate in the common effort”.

In GermanyAround 30,000 million euros dedicated to helping families Inflation pushed back in June for the first time in months 7.6% per year (ie 0.3 points less than in May). All taxpayers received “Energy check” of 300 euros, plus 100 euros for the weakest and 100 euros for each child. If the regional train ticket at the price of 9 euros was a great success, the fuel shortage of 30 euro cents per liter was strongly criticized by the Greens, who nevertheless participate in the government coalition.

Inflation is seen in supermarkets in Spain

The idea guiding the latest measures is, in short, to help the main victims of inflation to deflect the main beneficiaries of the rise in prices. Announced in mid-July by the President of the Spanish government, the Socialist Party Pedro SanchezBanks and large energy groups would be subject to special taxes that would allow the state to collect 7 billion euros over two years.

Madrid will take more decisions to lighten the pockets of citizens: the Free train tickets and commuter trains Between September 1 and December 31, 2022. Over the same period, one million high school students and scholarship holders will receive Support for an additional 100 euros per month. Assistance was also provided for the construction of Social housing, Installation of solar panels and acquisition of electric vehicles.

All these measures will complement two other aid packages for families and businesses decided in March and June, which amounted to around 15 billion euros. Among its measures, Fuel subsidy of 20 cents per liter (15c. paid by the state and 5c. by the oil companies), a Single aid of 200 euros for low-income households, VAT reduction and preferential electricity rates, subsidies for the transport sector and capping the increase in rents.

A gas station in Barcelona, ​​Spain
A gas station in Barcelona, ​​Spain

The French government dodged a complicated legislative tussle this week that would allow it to release nearly $20,000 million in additional aid to deal with the rising cost of living. One of the main measures of this text is: Revaluation of pensions and social benefits by 4%; Maximum limit of 3.5% for rate increase Between July 2022 and June 2023, and until December 31, 2023 so-called “prime” macros. The measure, which came into force three years ago in response to the movement of yellow vests, allows any employer to grant Special bonus of up to 3,000 euros for minimum wage workers, exempt from taxes and social security contributions. The new text also repeals certain government obligations on the limits established on greenhouse gas emissions, for example, to return to the use of coal to meet energy needs for the coming winter.

These measures will be added to those already adopted. among others, 50 euro cents per liter of petrol (30 euro cents are provided by the state and the rest by energy companies), 100 euros in emergency food aid for the most vulnerable families, plus 50 euros per dependent child , and a tariff shield for the price of domestic energy, which has been extended until the end of the year.

Mary I. Bruner