France’s minority government unveiled on Thursday a 20 billion euro ($20.35 billion) inflation-relief package that will include fuel discounts, rent caps and a boost to pension benefits, but will need backing from at least some of the opposition to be adopted.
The package includes a 4% increase to welfare and pension benefits, and proposals to raise civil servant pay by 3.5% and prolong a state-financed rebate on fuel prices at the pump.
With households increasingly struggling in the face of record inflation, the government is under pressure to pass the bill quickly, while opposition parties are impatient to wield their new power to substantially rewrite proposed legislation.
“We are adding 20 billion euros today in new measures to help protect our compatriots against the high cost of living,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told journalists.
The government’s bill also laid out a series of emergency measures in the energy sector to counter a looming crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, allowing it to requisition power-generating plants and order operators to replenish gas stocks if needed.
It is the first major piece of legislation that will go to parliament since President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance lost its absolute majority in legislative elections last month.
It is still the biggest group in the lower house of parliament but will need opposition lawmakers to back the bill – or abstain in numbers – for it to go through.