This is a particularly welcome plan in times of high inflation. After eight months of consecutive delays, the government will unveil its new anti-poverty strategy on Monday. But associations fear a lack of ambition. Burnt by various delays to the plan, which was due to be presented in January, they are cautious about its contents, and some actors are wary of the already known list of measures.
These include preventing childhood poverty, returning to employment, combating high levels of isolation and ensuring that the ecological transition does not place too much of a burden on the most disadvantaged. More specifically, measures that could appear in this “Solidarity Pact” are the creation of a “colo-pass” for the children of SM2, the opening of secondary schools in Rep and Rep+ from 8 am to 6 pm – including for students who have graduated school. their lessons or waiting for them to start – to “fight educational inequality” or even create 200,000 kindergartens by 2030.
Other components are also planned to combat stigmatization of the poorest, tailor government policies to specific rural areas or abroad, or simplify relations with associations. “The government must show that it understands what is happening in terms of poverty and instability,” says Pascal Brice, president of the Federation of Solidarity Actors.
“September 18 is decisive. We expect a lot, even if at present we do not have any signals indicating huge ambitions,” adds Christophe Robert, general delegate of the Abbé Pierre Foundation.
“Zero Non-Recourse Territories” aimed at identifying users who do not claim social benefits even if they are eligible for them could also be part of the pact, as well as a second five-year “Housing First” plan that aims to help the homeless find housing.
Measures that go “in the right direction” but are considered “largely insufficient” by associations fighting instability. They call, among other things, for an increase in social minimums, an increase in housing assistance (APL), an end to the closure of places in emergency housing, or even the legalization of undocumented workers in stressed sectors.
15% of the French population is poor
According to INSEE, 9.2 million people, or almost 15% of the French population, suffer from poverty. More than one in 10 people save on heating, food, and various products and services.
In this context, which is also characterized by high inflation, requests are pouring in from food aid distributors, bringing associations to the brink of collapse, such as the Restos du Cœur, which raised a cry of alarm in early September.
The previous anti-poverty plan, launched in 2018 and allocated €8 billion over four years, contained a number of measures including “mixed bonuses” for kindergartens taking in more disadvantaged children in deprived areas, free school breakfasts in priority areas or the creation of a universal income,” which never saw the light of day.