ENERGY – Faced with the surge in gasoline prices, which are breaking records, the Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili called on Tuesday, October 12, distributors to “make a gesture”. Leclerc said he was ready to cut his margins if the state lowered taxes.
LCI editorial staff –
Prices are soaring at the pump. The average price of diesel has exceeded the level it reached in October 2018, a few weeks before the yellow vests crisis. Diesel hit 1.5354 euros for the week of October 4-10, breaking its all-time high of 1.5331 euros. That is an increase of 6.5% in one month and 20.39% since January 1, 2021, according to figures from the Ministry of Ecological Transition. At the same time, the SP95-E10 was posted at 1.6073 euro (+ 3.1% in one month, + 18.73% in ten months), while a liter of SP98 cost 1.6937 euro (+ 2.95% in one month, + 18.51% over the year).
A surge in prices due to catching up linked to the economic recovery. Tuesday, October 12, the Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili has “asked distributors to make a gesture in this difficult period, by reducing their margins”. She “reserves the right to bring them together if necessary”, she added during the session of questions to the government.
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Soaring energy prices
We will make sure the distributors play the game
“As a first step, we will make sure that the distributors play the game, and that none of them takes advantage of the situation to increase the prices at the pump excessively to the detriment of the most modest French”, announced the former elected EELV before the National Assembly. “We will not leave our fellow citizens without a solution to this increase in fuel prices, in particular the many French women and men who need their car every day.”
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However, this should only have a relative impact on gasoline and diesel prices. According to a report of the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Council for the Economy, Industry, Energy and Technologies, dated 2012, the distributors’ net margin on fuels is around 1 to 2 cents per liter. Conversely, state taxation, taxes in short, weigh approximately 60% of the total price paid at the pump by motorists.
If the state lowered its taxes, we would follow
“I am ready to help the State to lower taxes by accompanying its movement, but it is up to the State to begin”, responded Michel-Édouard Leclerc, president of the strategy committee of E.Leclerc distributors, invited to respond on RMC at the request of the Minister for the Ecological Transition. “If the state lowered its taxes, we would follow. There is not much under our feet today to lower our margins since we are already practically at cost price “, he added. “The increases are seen quickly with us because we are not allowed to sell at a loss, we have to follow the tempo of the increases and pass them on.”
“There are several possible avenues: there is the question of lowering taxes – we are not there today – there may be a question of specific aid”, announced government spokesman Gabriel Attal. “The decision has not been taken. (…) Before making a decision, we must look at what is most effective in helping the French who need it most.”
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