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8 What’s new?

Deal, no deal, no Brexit? 2019 will be a big year for politics, tax and free glasses This will be a significant year for Britons in France – from the start of a new tax system to (it is hoped) the long-awaited end of the 15-year voting rule for British elections, and a fast-approaching Brexit day (assuming it is not all called off). We look at some of the changes in store for France this year Some items, such as certain health and finance matters, were subject to a vote on 2019 budget laws on going to press, but are unlikely to change significantly.

Health full reimbursement of a range of quality glasses, hearing aids and dental prosthetics (crowns/bridges) will be phased in from 2019 to 2021. Carried out via state funding and top-up insurance, it is called 100% santé and is open to all residents. LOWER earners will see the end of the Aide au Paiement d’une Com­plé­ mentaire Santé (ACS) that helps them pay for a top-up health policy. From November 1, those qualifying will move to the CMU-C, which offers ‘free’ healthcare to low earners. Depending on age and means, they will have to pay a monthly contribution of no more than €30.

ed to support GPs and specialists in areas with a shortage of doctors. They will assist by welcoming patients, taking blood pressure, making appoint­ ments with specialists, billing etc. A THREE-YEAR experiment starts in which some A&Es will be paid for sending patients who are not emergency cases to see a GP instead. TRIALS of flu jabs in pharmacies are being extended to two further regions in winter 2018-2019 (Hauts-deFrance and Occitanie) with a view to the measure being rolled out everywhere in winter 2019-2020. PRICES for a cigarette pack rise by 50 centimes in March and then again in November.

January 2019

Education and training SCHOOLING will become obligatory for all from the age of three from the 2019 rentrée in September. CONTINUOUS training credits in the Compte personnel de formation (CPF) that employees, jobseekers and self-employed people now build up will this year consist of a value in euros rather than an amount of hours. During the second half of the year, an app will be launched that will allow credit-holders to manage purchases of training, which can include online learning but must consist of approved courses leading to a certificate.

Sport THE TOUR de France starts from Brus­sels, the capital of Belgium (and the EU). The Grand Départ will be on Satur­day July 6 and the route will cross north-eastern France before heading south-west to the Pyrénées. The closing stages will be in the Alps before the riders fly to the Ile-de-France for the traditional finale along the ChampsElysées in Paris on July 28. PRICES of a national hunting licence are set to drop – though on going to press there was debate about the final fee. President Macron had spoken of halving it from around €400 to €200, but it might end up at €210 to €240, some sources said. Most hunters do not have this type of licence but rather hunt under a departmental licence.

DAILY accommodation fees in the Forfait journalier hospitalier that helps cover the cost of a hospital stay rise from €18 to €20.


EARLY diagnosis, monitoring and care of children who may be autistic or have other developmental issues is to be set up and reimbursed. PLANS to offer medically-assisted conception to all women, including same-sex couples, will be debated this year as part of a bioethics law.

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THE FIRST posts will be created for assistants médicaux, who will be fund-

Photo: A.S.O.

GOLFERS face a new set of competition rules as new international modifications are brought in. Details can be found at tinyurl. com/y8dkeeqs (French) or (R&A, English). They set a new time restriction for searching for a lost ball, down from five to three minutes, and a player dropping a ball after it lands in an unplayable place (dropper la balle) should let it fall from knee height instead of the shoulder.

Tour de France will start from Brussels and have three finishes above 2,000m

THE FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in nine cities from June 7 to July 7. It opens in Paris and the final is at the Stade des Lumières in Lyon suburb Décines-Charpieu.

Home and daily life THE tax credit scheme for eco-friendly home improvements will now include 50% against the cost of removing an oil-fired boiler and a credit of 30% towards the cost of the labour (including VAT) for putting in alternatives, such as a wood-burner or heat pump. AID for low-income families to pay energy bills sees the cheque énergie rise from an average €150 to an average €200 (the amount depends on income, family size and energy use). Minimum and maximum amounts are also rising, from €48 to €76 and from €227 to €277. Those eligible should be sent a cheque in the post. NEW ‘one-stop shops’ will help those who employ a home worker, such as a cleaner or gardener, with social security fund Urssaf managing payments. From March parents who pay childminders can use and others can use from June, to opt not only to have social charges paid out of their bank account but also the salary. At-source tax for workers in the home is deferred a year to 2020 when the levies can then also be taken automatically via these sites. A NEW law will be passed to allow faster removal of offensive (racist, sexist, homophobic…) material from social media. families with a disabled child with the AEEH education benefit will see the Complément mode de garde rise by 30%; a gain of up to €140 for families employing childcare workers. PRICES of red stamps rise 10 centimes to €1.05, while the green stamp rises eight centimes to 88 centimes. La Poste says it needs to compensate for declining volumes (a red stamp was 55 centimes in 2009). There will now be three centimes off for those who print stamps at home via La Poste’s website. A 20g letter in the EU is also rising by 10 centimes to €1.30 and there will no longer be a different price for the rest

of the world, just a single international rate – meaning the price for the UK should not rise after Brexit. AN EU regulation on matrimonial regimes comes into force on January 29, 2019. It will no longer be possible for a British person in France to change their regime only for property in France. It will now have to apply to their worldwide estate. The change is not retrospective. UNDER an EU proposal, countries may be asked to decide by March 31 if they wish to retain their winter time all year round – in which case they would change clocks for the last time in October – or summer time (the last change would be in March).

Transport PLANS to raise fuel prices on January 1 by 3 centimes/litre on diesel and 6 centimes/litre on petrol – targets of the gilets jaunes protests – have been cancelled by the prime minister. A temporary cap has also been set on electricity and gas prices. SIMILARLY, new stricter emissions rules in the Contrôle technique (MOT) have been suspended for six months. A NEW law on transport will be debated in the spring. One measure sets stricter rules on car-sharing payments: if a fee is set for a single passenger then a set reduction will apply for each extra passenger Another plan would remove péage barriers in favour of number plate recognition ,with drivers billed by direct debit. Tests are under way on the A4 Paris-Strasbourg motorway. Employers are already encouraged to help staff who come to work by car or public transport. In the new law they will be urged to offer up to €400/year to those using car-share or bicycle. It may also allow lone women travellers to ask bus drivers to request a halt between stops for better safety. FROM January prime à la conversion

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The Connexion 195 - January 2019  

France's English-Language Newspaper

The Connexion 195 - January 2019  

France's English-Language Newspaper