Economy Watch out for the numbers on social networks

Watch out for the numbers on social networks


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Not everyone has a hotel in rue de la Paix (illustration – Jeff Blackler/Shutterst/SIPA

  • Why is a minister better paid than a professional firefighter? The question can be asked, but it is better to have the right numbers to compare.
  • On Facebook, a 2015 publication, again shared en masse this week, denounces wage inequalities.
  • Problem: Most of the figures do not correspond to reality, especially since the publication is six years old and revenues have evolved since then.

“Teacher: 1,600 euros to prepare for life […]. Minister: 30,000 euros to spoil our lives. The tone is set, no gifts to those who “cost us dearly”. On Facebook, this post has been viewed thousands of times over the past few days. The post, initially published in 2015, also reviews the remuneration of “teachers”, doctors and senators.

A 2015 post, shared again.
A 2015 post, shared again. – Facebook capture

Beyond salaries, the document compares the number of parliamentarians elected to the National Assembly and the Senate to that of members of the US Congress: “If we did like the United States, we would have only 17 senators and only 73. deputies. “


Shared today on social networks without any element of context, this text contains data that was already incorrect at the time of its publication.

In 2015, a school teacher, a primary school teacher, earned around 2,100 euros gross at the time of his tenure, according to the salary and index grids published at the time by the Snuipp-FSU union. In 2020, the salary of a newly established school teacher was 2,067 euros gross. Amounts far from the salary of 1,500 euros mentioned on the document.

Firefighters, doctors …

How much does a professional firefighter earn? For the lowest grades, between 1,550 euros and 2,350 euros gross per month in 2020, not counting bonuses and allowances, indicates the specialized site The Facebook publication gives a figure of 1,800 euros.

As for the doctors, their salary partially corresponds to what the post says – which assesses it at 5,000 euros per month. At the public hospital, a tenured doctor starts at 4,411 euros gross per month. After twenty years of career, he receives 7,183 euros. This is without counting a possible additional private activity. As for liberal practitioners, their remuneration is very variable. The average income of a general practitioner was estimated by the Ministry of Health at 6,775 euros net in 2015.

Income of senators overestimated

Do senators really earn 19,000 euros, as it is claimed? In reality, the parliamentary allowance amounts to 7,239.91 euros gross, indicates the Senate. A sum that can be supplemented by a “function allowance” of around 2,000 euros for senators at the head of political groups or committees, for example, or 7,200 euros for the sole president of the upper chamber.

In addition, 5,900 euros are advanced every month to each senator in anticipation of their costs, which must correspond to supporting documents. The balance is returned to the Senate budget, and no longer to the political groups. Finally, 8,402.85 euros are allocated to each senator to pay up to five employees.

Ministers’ salaries were cut in 2012

As for ministers, their salaries were reduced by 30% in 2012, at the start of the Hollande presidency, from 14,200 euros to 9,940 euros gross (and not 30,000 euros). For a secretary of state, the income went from 13,490 euros to 9,443 euros. In 2019, the salary was 10,093 euros gross for ministers and 9,559 euros for secretaries of state. The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister earned, for their part, 15,140 euros gross monthly.

Regarding the conclusion of the publication on the number of parliamentarians, let us recall that the United States is a federation of 50 States which each have a Congress. In addition to the 535 parliamentarians who sit in Washington, the specialized American site Ballotpedia has around 2,000 senators and 5,400 representatives at the state level. A number ultimately higher than that mentioned by the viral document, which indicates: “If the United States did as we did, they would have 2,100 senators and 3,462 deputies. “



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