Temporary workers, young people on fixed-term contracts, seasonal workers, traders … The eight departments of Ile-de-France that we interviewed have seen since March, and the start of the Covid crisis, the demands to touch the RSA explode. At the national level, in the twenty departments surveyed, requests for RSA are also skyrocketing. This active solidarity income, paid under means-tested conditions, to people over 25 who cannot claim unemployment benefits, is between 564.78 euros for a single person, and 1,186.03 euros for a couple with two children.
While Emmanuel Macron ruled out on Wednesday evening the possibility of a lasting increase in social minima, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, must announce this Saturday an “act 2” of the poverty plan.
In Val-de-Marne, they are thus 45,809 in August to be registered there against 41,449 in March, and the number of beneficiaries expected at the end of December could approach, according to a “cautious” estimate, the 46,900. 12% increase over the year. Never seen. Likewise, in Seine-Saint-Denis, where the number of beneficiaries is already very high – 87,000 in June -, it is an increase of 4.7% which is noted compared to June 2019, “the highest increase in one year never recorded for seven years ”. President (PS) Stéphane Troussel had alerted Emmanuel Macron on the subject in May.
This trend is found as well in the outer suburbs, as in Essonne, with an increase of 14%, as in Paris. A new fact since the capital was rather used since 2009 to see the number of beneficiaries decrease … But since August, 68,838 beneficiary households have been registered, the equivalent of an increase of 12.3% compared to January 2020, and 12.6% compared to August 2019. “We have rarely had such strong increases in such a short time, notes Léa Filoche, deputy (Générations. s) to the mayor of Paris, in charge of solidarity. This situation alerts us with the arrival of new audiences, younger, and unknown to social services until now. “
Craftsmen, tourism professionals… New profiles hitherto unknown
The Covid effect? The courses speak for themselves: employees on fixed-term contracts, whose contract has not been renewed, autoentrepreneurs, temporary workers, craftsmen… or even tourism, event or hotel professionals. These are all sectors that are suffering the full brunt of the health crisis.
“The government’s measures with partial unemployment have made it possible to curb the rise in unemployment, but other employees are expected to switch”, predicts with concern Christian Favier, PCF president of the Val-de-Marne departmental council. In this department, if Orly airport has reopened, the air transport professions and all subcontracting are still slowing down. The same goes for the Val-d’Oise with Roissy – Charles-de-Gaulle. The increase in RSA is expected to be around 15% according to forecasts compared to 2019.
Consequence: an enormous burden for the finances of the departments. +20 million euros for Essonne, as much for Yvelines, +11.7 million euros for Hauts-de-Seine. In Paris, it is squarely an increase in spending of 30 million euros that is expected compared to last year. The RSA should weigh a total of 392 million euros.
The state called to the rescue
“This aid was compensated by the State up to 72% in 2019, but this rate should fall to 66% in 2020. Which represents 130 million euros to find. How do we do it? “Asks Léa Filoche, who demands” a reimbursement to the nearest euro “. All the more so since social services fear the undue effects for all these vulnerable groups, in terms of access to housing or food. In Seine-et-Marne, the president (UDI) Patrick Septiers prefers to “plan” and has already decided to increase the budget of the Solidarity Fund for Housing (FSL). The departmental council of Val-d’Oise voted at its last meeting to strengthen the departmental integration program to the tune of 1.4 million euros, to finance integration actions, and the creation of 11 jobs in the direction of social life (10 social workers and a controller).
But at a time when the 2021 budgets are actively being prepared, how to strike a balance? The Assembly of French Departments, which will hold its congress on November 5 and 6 in La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime), is negotiating with the State. Its president, Dominique Bussereau said “I am very worried”. “The State does not accomplish its mission by not compensating the expenses related to the RSA. The remaining charge for the departments was 4.6 billion euros in 2019; it should increase to 5.6 billion euros this year, ”calculates the elected official who also presides over Charente-Maritime. For now, he believes, “the account is not there.”
At 55, Jean never imagined having to apply for RSA one day. Advisor in new real estate, this autoentrepreneur based in Thiais (Val-de-Marne) has lost “100% of its turnover” since April and the health crisis. “A cataclysm”, he sums up. “I waited before applying for RSA. The idea was to stay active and warlike, not to live on social minimums. “But with the delay in delivery of new real estate programs of” six to nine months “and the prudence of bankers in granting loans, sales are extremely rare. “I made 50,000 euros in figure last year. There, I am at 7,000 euros. I am awaiting a sale. But I won’t get the commission for a few months. “
So in July, Jean had to resolve to apply for RSA. A Cape. “You become a precarious person,” notes this father with a dependent child. It helps out. Even if, with 753.93 euros, that does not cover all the charges. To cope, he does have some savings, but he knows it won’t be enough. “I am fighting to hold on. Fortunately there is the family. But I need to bounce back. Since June, his sector has been excluded from the solidarity fund opened by the government for professions in difficulty.
For the time being, Jean does not yet plan to change professional sector but rather to take “a complementary activity”. “You have to become a juggler. We do not have a choice. “