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The future income universal activity in eight questions

RSA, housing assistance... The government wants to bring together several social benefits to combat the non-use and to encourage the resumption of activity. Th

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The future income universal activity in eight questions

RSA, housing assistance... The government wants to bring together several social benefits to combat the non-use and to encourage the resumption of activity.

This is a centerpiece of Emmanuel Macron in its fight against poverty. The universal income activity (RUA), which shall be substituted for several social benefits and will be the subject of a draft legislation during the course of 2020, is starting this Wednesday, October 9, a new stage of its development with the opening of a participative platform online.

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Open until November 20, this Internet consultation will be supplemented by six workshops in the region. They "meet in particular beneficiaries of social minima to seek their views and work with them", according to the secretary of State Christelle Dubos, who bears the folder. The Express train made the point on this new social assistance.

1. Why a universal income activity ?

"Our system of social minima is complex, the rules are difficult to understand, which has the effect of limiting the recovery of activity, generates the non-use and territorial inequalities", writes the ministry of Solidarity and of Health on its website. The universal income activity (RUA) must replace several social benefits, in order to make the system "simpler and more readable for the households, which will allow everyone to more easily access their rights", specifies the ministry, who also hopes to make it more "incentive activity".

In spite of a denomination close to, the RUA has nothing to do with the proposal for a universal income range by Benoît Hamon, during the presidential election of 2017, originally presented as a minimum income which is poured out without condition of age or of resources. So the philosopher Gaspard Koenig, considered with The Express in 2018 that the use of the term by the government was "dishonest".

2. The current system is it really ineffective ?

It depends on how it is estimated. Social benefits can reduce the poverty of households are the most disadvantaged. In metropolitan France, the rate of monetary poverty is thus established in 2014 to 14.1% of the population thanks to social transfers and tax, compared with 22% without, shows a study of the Directorate of research, studies, evaluation and statistics (Drees), published in 2017.

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On the other hand, the rate of non-recourse to the law - the fact that you cannot receive a benefit to which you are entitled through lack of knowledge, by the desire not to be stigmatized or because of an administrative process, albeit incomplete, is important in the current system. According to various estimates, a third of the population does not receive the aids to which she is entitled, for a total amount of 6 billion euros are non-paid. A parliamentary report of 2016 was estimated at 36% the rate of non-recourse in respect of the RSA base.

If the department considers, moreover, that "the complexity of the rules does not know if the resumption of employment will actually improve the financial situation", there's still more advantageous to work, even at Minimum wage, rather than living on social benefits, remembered it from 2011.

3. What aid would be affected by the merger ?

The RSA, the housing aid and the premium of activity are already concerned. Agnès Buzyn has already said they want to work on "the access to the premium activity for the apprentices, while Gabriel Attal wants an extension to the students forced to finance their studies.

Several points remain to be decided about the scope of the RUA : will he include the minimum old-age pension, the allowance for disabled adult (AAH), or the allowance of specific solidarity, paid to unemployed persons at the end of rights ? Contacted by The Express, the ministry refuses to give more details before the end of the consultation." Nevertheless, "over the RUA will be large, the less there will be stigma to its recipients, and the more he will avoid out-of-rights", tells The Express Olivier Noblecourt, inter-ministerial delegate to the prevention of and the fight against poverty.

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in response to concerns of the associations of persons with disabilities, which fear that in a column in the Sunday Newspaper that the AAH disappears "in favour of a universal income of activity, not taking into account the specific nature of the disability", the government has promised that in case of integration with the RUA, spending now dedicated to people with disabilities would not be diluted in the merger and would remain devoted to it. No requirement of professional activity or research employment will be requested, as well as to current recipients of the minimum old-age pension, insists Olivier Noblecourt.

4. Who could benefit ?

In 2017, $ 4.1 million persons were receiving minimum social benefits, according to Drees. This figure rises to 7 million when you add the spouses and children of recipients, or 11% of the population.

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The RUA could "affect between 10 and 15 million people", according to the ministry of Solidarity. A possible increase because the non-recourse to the law should reduce, but also because young people under 25 years of age, not currently eligible for the RSA, will be affected by the RUA, confirmed to The Express to a ministry source.

5. When the RUA will it be implemented ?

The dialogue that starts should result in a bill of "poverty" by 2020 and a gradual application of the RUA "at the earliest in 2022", says Olivier Noblecourt. The idea would be to first apply the RUA to new recipients, and then to extend it to those who already benefit from the current benefits, over the course of their changes of situation, in detail already The Express this summer.

6. What about the budget ?

The government insists on: he works to a constant budget. "The goal of this reform is not cost savings", says Olivier Noblecourt. If, as expected, the reform increased the number of beneficiaries in fighting against the non-recourse, it will be hardly sustainable not to grant extension budget. Otherwise, the benefits of some beneficiaries in current would be reduced. "It is possible that the government take offs [budget] to avoid a too large number of losers," a source confirms ministerial to The Express.

7. What is the purpose of the consultation ?

"It's not a reform that focuses on the 37 billion euros of social assistance and affecting potentially 15 million people, without asking their opinion to the French," says Christelle Dubos, State secretary to the minister of Solidarity and Health.

The online consultation is accessible via from 9 October until 20 November should allow "ownership of the issues by the general public", writes the ministry. Concretely, the participants may issue a notice around three major questions : What can bring the RUA ? Who will he contact ? (Young people under the age of 25 years will they benefit ?) As this was supposed to work ? (Will he be paid according to the resources of the person or of the couple ?)

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As during the great debate, the participant is invited to take a position (agree / Mixed / Not agree) on assertions. It can then justify its position, but also to make new proposals may or may not refer to a source of its choice. Links to academic works will be also available so that internet users can delve further into the issues discussed. "Many elements of the consultation phase are also in line," insists Olivier Noblecourt.

He might be disappointed; the opinion will not be binding for the government. "We are not trying to create a kind of telethon of the proposals. This would be absurd, breath, Olivier Noblecourt. The subject is to submit the policy decision to a consultation and report of what will be said." This is so not because a measurement takes all the votes that it will see the light of day. "If a majority of the French voted against the opening of the RUA to young people under 25 years of age, while the work demonstrates that it is necessary to implement to fight poverty, it will not, but we will explain it", illustrates Christelle Dubos. The government is committed to respond to the 20 questions most supported.

At the end of the consultation, a summary of contributions will be conducted by the firm of study OpinionWay and published on the site. The anonymized data will be available in open data on the site, specified by the ministry.

In parallel, the second phase of the citizens ' consultation will take place from 14 October to 2 December. Workshops in the region gather together a hundred citizens including the beneficiaries of social minima, professionals of social action and associations. "The participants will discuss the reform and make recommendations about its design and implementation," says the ministry.

Finally, in early 2020, a "citizen jury" composed of 15 citizens, representative of the French population will be put in place. "It will prepare an opinion collective and informed on a controversial subject of reform," details the ministry.

8. The measure does it exist abroad ?

The proposed RUA is closer to the reform of the social protection british, in the course of implementation since 2015, is the Montaigne institute, a think tank liberal. In addition to the Channel, a social assistance single, called Universal Credit is gradually replacing six social security benefits (unemployment benefits, tax credit for return to employment, tax credit for dependants, housing subsidies, assistance to persons with disabilities and income support). Add-ins are possible depending on the specificity of the fireplace (housing benefit for example, supplements for dependent child, etc), details of the think tank.

it is difficult to assess the impact of this reform, "the new fee structure [is] favourable to the couples with children (...) and unfavourable for lone parents or couples without children, and households with inactive," writes the institute Montaigne. "Among the 7.5 million households, 3.2 million will lose, on average, 200 euros per month and 2.2 million gain on average 150 euros per month following the reform." The impact on the speed of the return to employment is positive : "at the end of two months, the recipients of universal Credit are more often in employment than non-recipients of minimum traditional". But it disappears after a few months, "suggesting that the universal credit encourages a return to employment faster, but not a return to sustainable employment".

Read our complete file

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For the government, "the example of English is a counter-example", says Olivier Noblecourt. "This is a government that wants to reduce social expenses, and put it under conditions, social benefits and who has acted in haste."

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