Merger of social benefits: the first tracks

Announced in September 2018 by Emmanuel Macron, the recasting of "Solidarity benefits" has just entered a delicate phase: that of defining its field of application. As part of the reflection on this project, a note, released Saturday, November 9 by the Ministry of Solidarity, exposes several "Grouping scenarios" allowances. Directed by Fabrice Lenglart, general rapporteur for the reform of the universal income of activity (RUA), this document of about 80 pages had been handed, Thursday, to the organizations of fight against the exclusion. At this stage, it is only a question of the way forward, no arbitration has yet been made: they review possibilities for solutions that go beyond the outline outlined by the President of the Republic, there is a year. The voluntary sector fears that such ideas, if they materialize, will make many losers.

Read also Five questions on the "universal income of activity" announced by Emmanuel Macron

The executive's approach is based on the observation that"We urgently need to rebuild a social protection system that has become dangerously illegible for our fellow citizens", in the eyes of Christelle Dubos, the Secretary of State in charge of the file. At present, there are ten social minima – among which the active solidarity income (RSA) -, plus the activity bonus and personal housing assistance (PLA). These allowances, which are conditional on resources, are partly cumulative and subject to different rules, particularly as regards eligibility and calculation. They constitute "An indispensable safety net"as Mr. Lenglart says in his report, but is terribly complex. As a result, many people do not claim them when they are entitled to them. Also insinuate themselves into the spirits "A feeling of injustice, even suspicions of abuse"according to Mr. Lenglart.

The reform therefore seeks to simplify the system and make it more equitable. It also wants to ensure that the recovery of a professional activity increases the income of the households concerned – which is not always the case, the earnings from the salary can lead to a reduction, of equivalent magnitude, of the aid. Important clarification: the current reflection assumes that the budget allocated to these services remains the same. It also does not take into account the increase in the use of allowances, although this is sought by the government and has a cost. It will therefore be necessary to find additional financing. Not easy, in a context of budgetary scarcity.

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