Le “tariff shield” on electricity will not result in a “catch-up” on bills next year, despite a need for additional funding of about 2 billion euros to implement this measure, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday, May 30. The government had pledged to limit the rise in electricity bills this year to 4%, a measure that will cost more than expected.

“There is going to be a need for additional financing in 2023”, because “electricity prices have moved rather upwards”, acknowledged the boss of Bercy. This need for financing, “of the order of 2 billion euros”, “will be financed by the draft finance bill that we will examine at the next school year, next October, for 2023,” he continued in front of journalists.

“I want to be very clear with our compatriots, there will be no catch-up on their electricity bill. French consumers will not see any catch-up related to this need for financing on their bill in 2023,” he insisted. The CLCV had previously warned that the tariff shield for this year could be just a “mirage”, with a likely tariff catch-up of + 8% next year on electricity. “Such a catch-up is very likely to induce a stratospheric rise in the price of electricity at the beginning of 2023,” the consumer defense association worried in a statement, which based its fears on a recent deliberation of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE).

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A “shield” that has become political

In a context of high inflation and in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, this perspective has also taken a political turn. “An 8% increase in electricity is well planned by the government. I had warned the French that Emmanuel Macron was lying to them and would increase their bill after the elections,” Marine Le Pen reacted on Twitter. “It will be the same for gas and fuel. Only RN deputies will protect you from this racket,” she wrote.

“In 2023, we want to continue to protect the French against the increase in electricity and gas prices,” the Minister of Economy assured, believing that, however, it is too early to give details on this matter. “I’ll see you at the beginning of the 2022 school year when we will consider the finance bill,” he said.

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