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.