To counter the surge in energy prices, Jean Castex draws a “tariff shield” until spring

How to put out the smoldering fire seven months from a presidential election without raining billions of public money? Faced with a qualified increase of “Historical” gas and electricity prices, Prime Minister Jean Castex thinks he has found the suitable weapon: “The tariff shield”. Invited on TF1’s television news, Thursday, September 30, to announce the measures aimed at relieving households faced with soaring energy bills, the tenant of Matignon assured the French that the price escalation would stop thanks to the blocking prices decreed by the State. “I have this power”, he argued.

From 1er October, the regulated sales tariff for gas is set to increase a further 12.6% compared to the previous month – an increase of 57% since the start of the year, due to the resumption of post-Covid economic growth -19. But then it’s over! At least according to the head of government, who announced a freeze until March or April of next year. The period is supposed to coincide with a drop in gas prices on the international market, once the winter has passed and its heating needs have passed. For the record, the ballot for the presidential election of 2022 – in which the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has not yet officially declared himself a candidate – must take place on April 10 and 24. The increase in electricity prices will be limited to 4% for the first half of 2022, thanks to a reduction in the internal tax on final electricity consumption (TICFE).

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Until now, to respond to the anxieties of consumers and in particular those of the most precarious households, the government had resorted to the “energy check”. A tool described as simple, implemented in 2018 during the “yellow vests” crisis, making it possible to offer an average of 150 euros to modest households to help them adjust their energy factor. On September 15, faced with the dizzying and unprecedented rise in gas prices, the Prime Minister added 100 euros to this check. Some 5.8 million households are affected by this emergency aid.

” You are right, [le chèque énergie] not enough “

The idea of ​​using this device again, by extending it to a wider audience, had been put on the table. Corn “We had to strike a big blow. We couldn’t come back every month with a new check ”, explains an adviser to the executive. Still traumatized by the movement of “yellow vests”, which had initially stood up against a rise in fuel prices, the government was in a hurry to react. And the energy check, “You are right, that is not enough”, had conceded the Prime Minister, Tuesday, September 28, during the session of questions to the government.

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