INTERVIEW – François Carlier, general delegate of the CLCV consumer association, confirms with Challenges his remarks that the government has sharply increased fuel taxes to finance the end of the housing tax.
The increase in fuel taxes would not have been motivated by ecological reasons, but to finance the end of the housing tax. In any case, this is what François Carlier, the general delegate of the association for the defense of consumers Consumption Housing Living environment (CLCV) says, since his statements Thursday evening on France Info. Despite the denials of the Minister of Ecology François de Rugy, the representative of the CLCV, confirms to Challenges that it was from this angle that the government had presented the project to him.
Challenges – How did the government present the fuel tax hike to your association?
Francois Carlier – It was on September 11, at 11 a.m., during a meeting that took place in Matignon. Our association had been received in an anteroom by a counselor. On the business card that I have in front of me, it is written that this person is responsible for dealing with questions of “compulsory deductions” in the ministerial cabinet.
It was an oral discussion, the exchanges were cordial and relaxed. We came with the hope of freezing the tax hike scheduled for January 2019, or limiting it. Not necessarily to remove it completely. We had already published press releases to warn of the risks to purchasing power of such a measure in May, August and September.
Why were your demands not heeded?
The Matignon advisor replied kindly, but firmly, that it would not be possible to question the increase in taxes, which affect fuels but also fuel oil. It was explained to us that the government had “budgetary commitments” which made it impossible to go back. We were clearly told that the increase in fuel taxes should be used to compensate for the end of the housing tax. And it was explained to us that the fuel tax would even be the only tax that would be increased to meet these commitments.
“We will maintain the increase at the expected rate. Otherwise we will not keep the budget, ”the adviser told us.