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Ineffective employment accelerator but a bulwark for the poorest: the mixed results of the RSA – France
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Ineffective employment accelerator but a bulwark for the poorest: the mixed results of the RSA – France
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RSA, effective or not? Launched in 2008 under Nicolas Sarkozy to replace the RMI, the active solidarity income had not until then been so deeply analyzed. The report of the Court of Auditors, made public this Thursday, tells us a little more about a device constituting the main income of some 2.1 million French people. A number of beneficiaries which has grown by more than 60% since its creation, raising public spending to some 15 billion euros in 2019. A windfall that could be much greater than that. Actors agree in saying that 30% of theoretical beneficiaries do not use this aid when they are entitled to it. Why ? Because the devices are too complex or for psychological reasons; some do not want to have the label “poor” affixed to the forehead.

Be that as it may, the RSA today weighs on the financial balance of the Departments, the main contributors (51%), whose representatives never fail to denounce the lack of resources allocated by the State. Sometimes, if not often, for electoral purposes.

60% of beneficiaries without constraints

Without pinning it hard – it remains half-fig, half-grape – the Court of Auditors nevertheless points out some failures of the system. First complaint: the lack of follow-up of beneficiaries. In fact, the latter must sign a “reciprocal commitment contract”, in which are written in black and white the actions they must take to continue to receive this monthly income (On average € 560 for a single person). However, only 60% of beneficiaries are covered by this contract, which is nevertheless an obligation. Duties which are sometimes confined to simply providing medical appointments; illustration in passing of the situation of extreme dropping out of society in which certain audiences find themselves. Because in many cases, we are very far from the beneficiary slumped in his sofa watching his TV. Not to mention the enduring cliché about fraud. If this amounted to € 190 million in 2019, and was recently estimated at 1 billion by the CNAF (National Fund for Family Allowances), the court noted that 70% of cases are the consequence of omissions or errors in resource declarations.

Organization to review in Ille-et-Vilaine

Another problem pointed out: the lack of support resources. To draw up its report, the Court of Auditors analyzed nine departments in France. And she notes a huge gap between Ille-et-Vilaine, the only Breton studied and first in the class, and Seine-Saint-Denis. “It is the poorest territories which have the least means of support”, underlines Sophie Bergogne, president of the Regional Chamber of Accounts of Brittany.

Thanks to a historically strong social policy and very favorable transfer rights (real estate) in view of the attractiveness of the territory, the some 19,000 Bretillian beneficiaries – 45% of Rennes – are thus very closely supervised by the Department and the CCAS (Communal Center for Social Action). And less by Pôle Emploi compared to other departments. An efficient organization but which should nevertheless be reviewed, believes Stéphane Magnino, section president at the CRC. “It’s good to have a decentralized vision, but on condition that you have compatible tools between the players. For example, the CCAS software is not the same as that of the Department. “

Only 11% with a stable job after seven years

Side return to employment, also, there are elements to review, estimates the Court of Auditors. Seven years after entering the RSA, only 34% of beneficiaries left it and only around 11% have a stable job. However, should we throw everything away almost fifteen years after its creation? Not really.

First, “unlike the RMI, where you had to find a full-time job for it to be interesting, with the RSA, even with a part-time job, we are a winner,” notes Sophie Bergogne. It dismantles the idea that it would be better to stay at the RSA rather than find a job. “And if the RSA does not on its own make it possible to get out of a difficult situation – 46% of beneficiaries live below the poverty line at 50% of the median income, established around € 1,100 -” it is a bulwark against great poverty ”, indicates the president of the Regional Chamber of Accounts. They are indeed only 16% to live on less than 40% of the median income.

Sophie Bergogne, president of the Regional Chamber of Accounts of Brittany and Stéphane Magnino, section president. (The Telegram / Philippe Créhange)

Ineffective employment accelerator but a bulwark for the poorest: the mixed results of the RSA – France
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