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French Lawmakers Ease CSPE Tax Hike For Industry

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

20 December 2013

The French National Assembly has eased plans to increase the contribution to public electricity supply services, for electro-intensive companies in France.

The CSPE is a tax levied on electricity end-customers' bills. Payable by both households and businesses in France, the level is set by the state and the contribution is designed to enable electricity companies in France, such as EDF, to recover the extra charges incurred in performing their mandatory public service assignments.

The CSPE therefore contributes to the financing of renewable energy production, to social electricity tariffs, as well as to the nationwide equalization of tariffs. Since 2007, the level set for the CSPE has been insufficient to compensate electricity companies for the rising charges incurred.

The National Assembly recently modified the CSPE tax break currently benefiting electro-intensive corporations, during a first reading of the country's 2013 supplementary finance bill. Lawmakers adopted an amendment raising the ceiling for the tax per consumption site, put forward by general budget rapporteur Christian Eckert.

Underlining its concerns, the French union of energy-using industries Uniden subsequently requested that the measure be abolished, warning that the planned rise will merely prove yet another severe blow for the industrial competitiveness of France.

Consequently, Eckert elected to fine-tune the mechanism, arguing that the initial version was perhaps a little "too brutal." By way of a compromise, the CSPE hike for electro-intensive companies will now be just a quarter of that to be imposed on households.

TAGS: tax | business | energy | budget | tariffs | France | services

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