Mooted 'food cheque' for France's poor 'a tree which hides the forest'

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Amid galloping inflation, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne this week announced that households with the lowest incomes will be given a one-off financial payment at the end of the summer in emergency aid. The government is also to study the feasibility of implementing a regular payment to the neediest which will be specifically for the purchase of food, what has been dubbed a “food cheque”, although exactly what form this might take is unclear. Humanitarian associations have greeted the moves with caution, among them the Secours Catholique which likened the ‘cheque’ to “a tree that hides the forest” of the crisis. Faïza Zerouala reports.  

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After several weeks of procrastination, and amid a continuing sharp rise in the national consumer price index, the French government has announced it is to provide a one-off payment to the country’s lowest income earners at the end of this summer, the first step in a two-pronged emergency plan to help the poorest in face of fast-rising inflation, and notably the cost of food.