France increases subsidies for low-income motorists to swap old cars for newer, less polluting models

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Wednesday announced a 500 million euro ($564 million) plan to help motorists with the lowest incomes, in a bid to defuse a wave of nationwide protests against a tax increase on fuels.

The government will double the current 2,000 euro bonus granted to motorists on low incomes who change old-model cars seen as contributing to pollution for more recent and cleaner ones, Philippe told RTL radio on Wednesday.

The government will also increase other aids granted to motorists, as well as an existing special aid for low-income families who use diesel fuel to heat their homes.

Philippe said the new plans would overall represent an extra 500 million euro cost for the government.