Narrowing polls push candidates on VAT cut promises as inflation soars past 5%
As France goes to the polls today in the first-round of the Presidential elections, far-right opposition candidate, Marine Le Pen, has committed to a VAT rate cut on petrol and diesel from the standard 20% rate to the reduced 5.5% rate. She has also offered a cut in foodstuffs VAT to zero.
The French annual inflation rate hit 5.1% in March 2022, including 44% inflation on energy. The largest rises came in energy, food and services. A government imposed cap on gas and electricity prices should mean it stays that lowish compared to other major European economies.
The cost-of-living crisis has sprung the election to life as it was appearing a straightforward win for the centre-right incumbent, Emmanuel Macron. He has put aside €25 billion to cap electricity and natural-gas prices, and offer motorists a rebate on gasoline and diesel.
Many European countries are cutting fuel and basics VAT to help households deal with record inflation rates this spring. Learn more about French VAT in our country guide.