Fuel discount, revaluation of social benefits, end of heated terraces… What changes on April 1

Prices at the pump will notably be reduced with the discount at the pump promised by the government.

© Loic Venance
Prices at the pump will notably be reduced with the discount at the pump promised by the government.

Like every year, many regulations change on April 1st. But this time, part of them is dictated by the consequences of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Release takes stock of what will change from this Friday.

“Fuel discount” at the pump

Firmly awaited, the discount at the pump promised by the government in response to soaring gasoline prices comes into effect from Friday, for four months. Initially envisaged at 15 cents per litre, it should eventually rise to 18 cents (to take VAT into account). According to the government, this will represent a saving for motorists of 9 euros for a full 60 litres.

To be able to benefit from it, motorists will not have to do anything. The discount will be made at the level of the distributors in the central purchasing offices. It will therefore be the prices after reductions that will be displayed at the pump. The government has provided an advance for small independent service stations, often located in rural areas, which renew their tank less frequently.

The measure will cost nearly three billion euros in public finances, according to executive estimates.

Revaluation of social benefits

From this Friday, April 1, several social benefits will increase by 1.8%, to follow the level of inflation, according to the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. The RSA (active solidarity income) paid to people aged at least 25 who do not have the resources to provide them with a minimum level of income, is concerned. It will now reach 575.52 euros per month for a single person without children, an increase of 15.78 € per month.

The activity bonus, which aims to encourage the most precarious workers to resume professional activity, will also increase by 1.8%. The lump sum for a single person will therefore reach 563.68 euros per month.

Finally, the Disabled Adult Allowance (AAH), disability pensions and all family benefits are also affected by this 1.8% increase.

End of winter break

evictions of tenants, suspended for five months, will resume from April 1. This measure, which aims to avoid putting people on the street when it is too cold, will not be extended this year as it had been in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

From Friday, suppliers will also be able to cut off electricity and gas to households again in the event of non-payment. EDF has however undertaken not to make such cuts. The group, which has not yet been followed by its competitors, will instead carry out a power reduction to ensure a «service minimum» (light, fridge, phone charging).

Transparency of rent control

In territories where rent control applies (ParisLille, Lyon, Villeurbanne, 18 communes of Seine-Saint-Denis and soon Bordeaux as well as Montpellier), the real estate professionals will have to reinforce the transparency on the announcements for each property. This information is the reference rent, fixed by decree according to the characteristics of the property (district, date of construction, furnished or unfurnished); this rent increased by 20%, i.e. the limit authorized by the rent control; and, if necessary, the additional rent, which makes it possible to exceed the limit if the property has certain characteristics of location or comfort.

Agents, proxies, etc. who must now display the tariff of their fees, will now have to specify that it is a maximum tariff. The objective: to open up the possibility for customers to negotiate it downwards.

This obligation of transparency will also soon be extended to announcements published by individuals, according to the government, which however did not specify a date.

Supervision of telephone canvassing in insurance

Will the incessant calls from insurance companies be over soon? Telephone canvassing in this sector will now be more strictly regulated. After stating their identity and specifying the commercial nature of the call, telephone canvassers must obtain the prospect’s consent to continue the conversation.

In case of refusal, they will have the obligation to hang up and remove the data of the person from their list. On the other hand, the discussion must be recorded and it will be kept for two years if an insurance contract is concluded.

End of heated terraces

Say goodbye to (polluting) heaters on bar terraces. Starting on Friday, it will be forbidden to use heating systems in the terraces cafes, restaurants, and other brasseries as required by the climate law of August 22, 2021. Initially scheduled for the end of winter 2021, the ban had been postponed by deputies so as not to put cafes in financial difficulty and restaurants that had to close their doors for many months because of the Covid-19 crisis.

At the time of the examination of the text, the government affirmed that half a million tons of CO2 will be saved each year with this measure.

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