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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2022-36/2868 – measures in France

Increase in social benefits

Protéger les familles, les plus vulnérables, les étudiants et les retraités

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 September 2022 – 31 December 2023
Context COVID-19, War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Responses to inflation
– Increasing income in general
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 14 September 2022 (updated 17 September 2022)

Background information

In addition to the increase in social benefits , the government has taken several other measures to improve the purchasing power of people on low incomes as an exceptional allowance of €100 plus €50 per child, the increase of housing benefit and the abolition of the public broadcasting contribution which is for all citizens. Some measures (some were created during the COVID-19 crisis) focus also on students.

Content of measure

Exceptional assistance An exceptional allowance of €100 will be paid from 15 September to households receiving minimum social benefits such as the RSA, the disabled adults' allowance (AAH) or the solidarity allowance for the elderly, housing allowances and precarious students (scholarship students), plus an additional €50 per dependent child.

Housing Benefit To limit the impact of inflation on household budgets, the law of 16 August 2022 on emergency measures to protect purchasing power provides for certain measures to curb rent increases. A "rent shield" designed to cap rent increases at a maximum of 3.5% is being introduced for one year, until 30 June 2023. Housing benefits are being increased by 3.5% with retroactive effect to 1 July 2022.

Abolition of the public broadcasting contribution In order to improve the purchasing power of the French in a context of rising inflation, the public audiovisual contribution (CAP) payable by individuals and professionals who own a television set will be abolished from 2022.

No tax notice will therefore be sent out in the autumn and the 6.2 million monthly households that are already exempt from the taxe d'habitation on their main residence will receive a refund of the instalments of this contribution paid since the beginning of the year. This tax reduction represents a gain in purchasing power of €138 for households in metropolitan France and €88 in the overseas departments.

Support for students The "1 euro meal" for precarious students (students on grants or receiving annual CROUS aid), introduced in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis, is maintained for the 2022-2023 academic year. Students will therefore be able to access meals for €1 in all university restaurants. In addition, from 15 September 2022, student grants based on social criteria will be increased by 4%.

Use of measure

  • 5.8 million households will benefit from the increase in housing benefits (APL, etc.), including: 2.6 million households in social housing and 800,000 students.
  • The measure to increase grants will benefit 750,000 students.
  • The measure to abolish the public broadcasting contribution benefits nearly 23 million households. In addition, it represents more than 100 million euros in tax relief for professionals liable for this contribution, 75% of which belongs to the hotel, café and restaurant sector.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Peak level organisation have been informed, maybe formally consulted, but these measures are not fully in the scope of social dialogue.

Views and reactions

About all the measures adopted to increase the purchase power of workers, all the trade union organisations, and in particular the five representative trade union confederations and the organisations representing young people, denounced, in a declaration of 21 July, the legislative measures announced by the government.

They consider 'that wages are part of the sharing of wealth' and they 'are unanimous on the fact that the priority issue must be to increase wages, pensions, minimum social benefits and student grants'. However, the trade unions denounce the fact that 'a succession of one-off measures, mainly financed by the State, cannot constitute a sufficient package to respond to the emergency'. Moreover, the trade unions and youth organisations point out that 'these exemptions and reductions in contributions are undermining our collective social protection system'.

Employers’ organisation have not reacted to these measures.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2022), Increase in social benefits, measure FR-2022-36/2868 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2022-36_2868.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.