Government supports bakers vis-à-vis energy suppliers
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire is speaking out against energy companies that do not respect their obligations to artisans and SME managers. Stifled by the price of electricity, some bosses are threatening to stop work.
It was urgent for the government to show its support for the country’s 33,000 bakers, many of whom are threatened with closure due to rising electricity bills.
Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire and his ministerial representative Olivia Grégoire after Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne announced special measures to postpone or spread the payment of social and tax payments for the profession on Tuesday. Small and Medium Enterprises, Trade, Crafts and Tourism soon received the representatives of the bakers.
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In recent days, several artisans have announced that they are on the verge of bankruptcy, faced with both rising raw material prices and rising energy prices, and only marginally able to pass on their prices. “Energy bills are insane, the amounts are sometimes multiplied by ten or twelve, and we see abuses by energy companies in every department. Dominique Anract, president of the French National Confederation of Bread and Bakery (CNBPF), laments.
The main explanation for this increase is related to the formation of electricity prices. In the spot market, it is directly related to the final means of production used to balance the market. In France, these are often gas-fired combined cycle power plants. In Germany, these are coal-fired power plants. However, the war in Ukraine has pushed gas prices to new heights. This explains the current rise in electricity prices.
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Between July and September 2022, electricity could easily exceed €500 and €700 per MWh, compared to less than €100 per MWh a year ago. In 2020, the price was below 30 euros per MWh. However, some SME leaders had to sign at that time. Electricity contracts are concluded on an annual basis, possibly for more than two years. It should be renewed shortly before the deadline. In the new tariff base, which depends on the market price of electricity at the time of conclusion of this contract. Craftsmen lucky enough to have a deadline at the end of 2022 do not suffer from such an increase, the price of electricity has fallen in recent weeks.
Although the baguette is listed as intangible heritage by UNESCO, it would be a paradox not to give us funds to support our bakers.
According to Dominique Anract, the government cannot turn a blind eye to the disorganization of the profession.which serves 12 million customers a day and is part of French life“. A message well received by Bruno Le Maire confirming this “The state is with all the bakers in France. Although the baguette is listed as intangible heritage by UNESCO, it would be a paradox not to give us funds to support our bakers.“. In the coming days, Bersi will send a personal letter to each of them, reminding them of the actions carried out. A mission that artists can receive at the same time as Jordan Bardella. The president of RN also wrote “A letter to French bakers», where he condemns «intolerable situation“.
It helps up to 40%
If Bruno Le Maire had defended himself “playing politics on the backs of bakers“, he also stated that artisans will have a special reception point in each prefecture and will go directly to meet with professionals in their trade to explain the support measures of their services. “Because the devices are not well known“he regretted. The help desk for the payment of electricity bills, which should be closed on December 31, is kept open. When energy products make up more than 3% of the turnover in 2021 and the price of energy is more than 50% compared to the average price paid in the year during the period of the request for assistance if there are more, it provides assistance separately. 2021.”However, only 50 SMEs per day require it“, noted Bruno Le Maire.
Bakers can also use the electricity buffer, which gives them a 20% discount on their bill. “By combining the two measures, they can benefit from up to 40% assistance“, the Minister of Economy reminded that 12 billion euros were discussed to support SMEs. “But,he added, this can only work if energy suppliers play the game. But some do not respect their obligations to bakers and SMEs. So I will ask them to do more, better and immediately.»
Determined to enforce the established rules, Bruno Le Maire did not rule out the possibility of “charges energy suppliers more than they do today», That is, to increase the temporary taxes planned until December 31, 2023. A message that the Minister of Economy intended to send to the energy companies was called to Bercy in the afternoon. Despite these efforts to quell the discontent of the bakers, a collective demonstration is planned for January 23.
SEE ALSO – Inflation: prices will rise in this bakery “5-10%»