It’s a classic at the start of every year or month. As of January 1, 2022, new measures and regulations will come into force in France. Among the main changes to know is the revaluation of the minimum wage.
Faced with inflation, the minimum wage will increase by 0.9% to reach 1,603.12 euros gross per month, based on the legal working time of 35 hours per week. Retirement pensions will also increase on January 1, 2022, by 1.1%. This revaluation concerns all basic pensions, except that of lawyers. It will be applied to pensions due for the month of January 2022 which will be paid in early February.
Another major change that will take place on January 1, contraception and the costs associated with it will become completely free for all women under 25, and not just for minors, as is currently the case. Health Insurance has nevertheless clarified that condoms or pills are not affected by free.
As part of the gradual strengthening of the anti-waste law, plastic overwrapping for fruits and vegetables weighing less than 1.5 kg will be banned from Saturday, as will plastic toys distributed free of charge in fast food restaurants and packaging plastic for newspaper delivery. In addition, stores will now be required to take back used furniture, empty or full hazardous products (paints, glues and cleaning products with hazardous substances) and combustible gas cartridges from their customers.
Tax cuts and housing assistance
As regards taxes, the brackets of the income tax scale will be increased by 1.4%. The scale of the neutral rate (not personalized) for the withholding tax will therefore also be revalued. The gradual abolition of the housing tax will also continue in 2022. The wealthiest households will benefit from an exemption of 65% of their tax, before it is definitively abolished for all taxpayers in 2023.
Another notable change for owners, the “Affordable Rent” scheme allows them to rent out their unfurnished accommodation at an affordable rent level while benefiting from a tax advantage on rental income. The tenant must be under a resource limit, the lease is for six or nine years. A commitment agreement is signed with the National Housing Agency (Anah).
Finally, from January 1, users will be able to choose to electronically file their building permit and, more generally, their application for planning permission. To support the municipalities, the State with associations of elected officials (AMF and AdCF) is deploying a digital soil law enforcement program.
The expanded “culture pass”, the price of stamps increases
In the culture sector, the system of access to cultural activities, more commonly known as “pass culture”, is, as of January 1, extended to young people aged 15 to 17 years. It provides access to a credit of 20 euros for those aged 15 and 30 euros for young people aged 16 and 17. For its part, the “Sport Pass” is extended until February 28, 2022.
The doubling of the daily ceiling for meal vouchers, a measure put in place to support the sector’s activity in the midst of a health crisis, is extended until February 28, 2022. It therefore remains at 38 euros, instead of 19 euros, for next two months. As for bars and restaurants, drinking water will become free, as in all establishments open to the public, which will now have to be equipped with a drinking water fountain.
The new year will also be marked by an increase in the price of stamps, by 4.7% on average. The price of the green stamp, for a cover distributed within 48 hours in mainland France, goes from 1.08 to 1.16 euros and that of the red stamp, for a priority letter, jumps from 1.28 to 1.43 euros. On the occasion of the French presidency of the European Council, a new 2 euro coin will be put into circulation on 1 January. The oak and olive tree, symbols of strength and wisdom, will be inscribed on this new coin.
Finally, a new scale for the automobile penalty will come into force for new registered vehicles. It will apply from 128 grams of CO2 / km (instead of 133 grams of CO2 / km) with, for this level of pollution, a tax of 50 euros. It will then rise to reach 40,000 euros for a level above 223 grams of CO2 / km. The amount of the penalty may not exceed 50% of the vehicle price including tax.