How will France’s 2023 affect second-home owners and residents, plus which towns are turning off streetlights and does your vehicle need winter tyres? Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.
1. What’s in France’s 2023 budget?
We announced last week that Emmanuel Macron’s government had used the controversial Article 49.3 to push the 2023 budget through a deadlocked parliament. After more than 55 hours of debate, more than a hundred changes (117 to be exact) were made to the original bill, which lays out France’s response to inflation and the rising cost of living, the energy crisis, tax allowances, and pay rises.
So, what does the budget actually include? Here are some of the key inclusions:
- Energy prices: gas and electricity prices will remain capped in 2023, but at a higher rate of 15%, while energy grants of €100-200 will be offered to low-income households. The government estimates a €25 per month increase in energy bills for the average household as a result.
- Tax: The 2023 income tax scale will be indexed to inflation to ensure that those with salary increases due to inflation are not disproportionately taxed. Tax credits will also be available to parents to offset childcare costs.
- Jobs: Around 11,000 more public-sector jobs will be available, and pay will increase for teachers, school staff, and other civil servants to reflect rising inflation rates.
- Property: The MaPrimeRenov scheme, which offers grants for property renovations that increase energy efficiency will be extended into 2023. Unfortunately for second-home owners, there may also be an increase in taxe d’habitation as a further 3,500 “zones tendues” will be introduced across France. The list of new towns and areas to be included has not yet been announced, but you can read our article for more: What Are France’s Zones Tendues?: Rental Caps and Extra Taxes on Second Homes
- Ukraine: A 6% increase in the budget is assigned for ‘immigration, asylum and integration’ with 5,900 accommodation places being made available for refugees.
2. Energy cut-backs in French cities
France announced its winter energy-saving plan last month, and November will see new measures being introduced in towns and cities around the country. Toulouse, Lyon, and several towns in the Pyrénées-Orientales are among those who have decided to turn off streetlamps late at night (the exact times vary depending on the town, but will typically be from midnight-2 am to around 5am). Paris has decided to maintain streetlamps for safety reasons, but shops and restaurants will still have to adhere to the ban on illuminated street signs and advertising that comes into place from today (Nov 1st).
If you want to do your bit to reduce energy expenditure (and save on your household bills), we’ve got plenty of ideas: 8 Ways to Save on Living Costs in France This Winter
3. Winter Tyres Required from Nov 1
Today also marks the start of France’s seasonal ‘Mountain Law’, which was introduced last year, and requires all cars, vans, and commercial vehicles in French mountain regions to be fitted with winter tyres and/or snow chains. As 2021 was the first year, there was a grace period in place and fines were not issued for non-compliance – however, €135 fines will be issued this year for any driver (even if you are just passing through) who doesn’t meet the requirements. Read our article Do I Need Winter Tyres or Snow Chains When Driving in France? for the full details.
4. Are You American and Looking to Buy in France?
There’s just one week to go until our Buying Property in France for Americans webinar, held on Tuesday 8th November at 12:00pm (ET). I’ll be joined by an expert panel including International French Estate agent Agence Newton, tax specialists Citrine International, and currency exchange specialists Moneycorp to answer all your questions on the French property market, foreign currency exchange, and tax that specifically apply to buyers from the United States.
With the US dollar to Euro rate at a high, this could be a smart time for Americans to buy in France, so join us to find out more.
Leave a reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *