Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Beginning of the dependency reform and post-Covid “hole in security” on the menu of deputies


Two texts (organic and ordinary) on social debt and autonomy, which were the subject of an express debate in committee last week, must be examined this Monday in the National Assembly. The stakes are colossal, starting with the addition of 136 billion euros in debt to the “security hole”, which the French will repay until 2033, or nine years more than expected.

This sum includes past deficits (31 billion), but also those expected for the current year (52 billion) and the three following ones (40 billion), as well as a third of the hospital liabilities (13 billion), of which the takeover was announced in November.

Like the Communists or Insoumis, several opposition groups consider it “unjustified” and “absurd” to transfer the debts of the Covid-19 to social accounts, believing that it is up to the State to carry this “burden” . For the economist Thomas Piketty, the extension of the repayment of the social debt amounts to increasing the taxes weighing on the French, contrary to the commitment of President Emmanuel Macron not to increase taxes.

But “we must act quickly”, pleaded the Minister of Health Olivier Véran, stressing that partial unemployment, exemptions from contributions and new spending in the face of the coronavirus had caused “very strong tensions” of cash for the Social Security.

He insisted on defending the “confinement of the debt created by the Covid crisis” in a dedicated fund (Cades): “There is an urgent need to be able to guarantee [que la Sécu] can pay social benefits on time “.

“Big splash”

However, the executive is preparing new expenses to support the loss of autonomy of disabled and elderly people.

An annual windfall of 2.3 billion euros will be recovered for this purpose from the revenue intended to fill the “security hole” from 2024.

Mr. Véran saw in it “the consecration of the commitment of the President of the Republic”, who had promised just two years ago – like others before him – a law on the financing of dependency.

But the socialist Boris Vallaud judged the effort “very insufficient and very late”, recalling that the needs are evaluated at more than 9 billion additional by 2030.

Assuming “not to raise taxes”, the minister said to rely “on a conference of funders” to find other means by “this fall”.

Without waiting for his conclusions, he praised a “historic” reform in the face of the “demographic wall” of the “papy-boom” which is coming, with a new branch of Social Security or a new risk taken in charge by one of the four existing branches (illness , old age, family, work accidents).

In committee, the deputies of the majority (LREM, Modem, Agir ensemble) have already decided between these two options by noting the creation of a fifth “autonomy” branch. The “marchers” want to entrust via an amendment its management to the National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA).

For Marie-Anne Montchamp, president of this fund, “it is the moment to go to the end” of this reform, the health crisis having “again shown” the heavy price paid by the elderly and disabled.

“The challenge (of a new branch) is to manage to manufacture comprehensive financing to better use public money and take charge of all aspects of the loss of autonomy,” she said. added Monday, at a conference organized by the Association of Social Information Journalists (Ajis).

For the time being, modalities and financing of the 5th branch are referred to a report in mid-September.

For these reasons, elected representatives of the opposition invited the majority to “modesty”, like Pierre Dharréville (PCF) for whom she “is planning a film”. Xavier Breton (LR) predicted that when the French see that “not a euro” will be put in before 2024 it will be “a big splash”.

(With AFP)

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