“Food becomes a real source of concern” while the prices of certain products are increasing on the shelves, warns the head of institutional relations at Famille Rurales, Jean-Baptiste Baud, Saturday June 25 at franceinfo. He asks for “targeted measures” depending on household income and their place of residence to cope with inflation which will reach 6.8% in 2022, according to INSEE.
franceinfo: Which prices are increasing the most due to inflation?
Jean-Baptiste Baud: For several months now, we have seen constant inflation. At the beginning, we talked a lot, and we still do, about the prices of energy, heating, fuels. This is really a concern for us since the inhabitants of rural areas have expenses that are higher than those of urban areas. For fuels, for a month or two, it’s true. But food is also becoming a real source of concern with an increase in prices on the shelves that we see on a daily basis. All these increases are cumulative in a context where families, for several years now, have had to spend more and more heavily, in particular because of housing and energy prices. In a nutshell, it is becoming very difficult for many families to make ends meet.
Do you fear that French people who have been doing economically until now will fall into a form of poverty?
Yes, that is what we fear. I remind you all the same that there are more than nine million of our fellow citizens who are already below the poverty line and, when we actually look at this inflation in the areas that we have mentioned, what is to be feared is is this toggle.
“There have already been amortization measures that have been taken, but what we are asking for are two types of measures that are more economically and territorially targeted to respond to the people who need them the most.”Jean-Baptiste Baud from Rural Families
For example, when it comes to fuel, it’s not the same thing when you don’t have public transport or an alternative to individual vehicles than when you do. Today, the rebate which is made on fuel will concern a family with the minimum wage who must use their car just like the senior executive who has an SUV and who might have access to public transport. I remind you that in rural areas, it is 40% more fuel expenditure. Then, we must also be aware that the problem of energy sieves also particularly affects rural areas. There is another problem, it is that of fuel oil. Currently, there is a shield for gas and electricity, but in rural areas, 20% of people still heat with fuel oil. There are regulations that will come in order for us to get out of this energy, but we have to follow them.
How are the poorest families faring?
Families are unfortunately doing what they can. What is worrying is that with the increase in the price of food, what we are seeing is that now there will be sacrifices made on this item of expenditure and therefore sacrifices necessarily, at some point, on the quality of food.
“It is a source of concern since we know that poor nutrition has consequences on health. When we look at what the State and Social Security spend to treat these diseases, I think we would really benefit rather to develop a long-term plan on healthy eating and prevention.”Jean-Baptiste Baud
The government announced a measure, a check, but again, not targeted. We ask that it be targeted at the most modest households.