Social security blow for French
Thursday 28 September 1995
The inevitable prospect of higher contributions has been broached in one form or other by a succession of ministers in recent days, including the Economy Minister, Jean Arthuis, and the minister with responsibility for families, Colette Codaccioni.
Among specific proposals are the means-testing of family allowances and the classification as taxable income of benefits which have not before been taxed. The likelihood of higher contributions has already been deplored by Socialist politicians and will be met with an outcry by trade unions, who say that existing contribution rates already make the French one of the most highly taxed peoples in Europe.
But the ministers say they have no choice: the deficit in the social security budget (which includes health, family and unemployment benefit) has risen sharply over the past three years with the increase in unemployment and a relative decline in contributions from the working population.
Alain Juppe's government has promised to reduce the social security deficit by two-thirds over the next year - a promise thought unrealisable without some highly creative accounting. This may not, however, be so difficult: creative, or at least highly muddled, accounting, seems to have afflicted the French social security system for years.
Presenting an audit of the 1994 social security budget yesterday, Pierre Joxe, the head of the Court of Accounts, attacked the whole system for its lack of transparency and accountability. He complained that his officers had repeatedly failed to get answers from officials about the real state of the finances and said that there was no real record of overall revenue and outgoings.
As a result, he said, any estimate of the balance in a system that turned over an estimated Fr1,500bn(pounds 200bn) a year was almost meaningless.
- 1 This is what the one in ten British men who pay for sex need to know
- 2 Lee Evans announces retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Coalition government has 'shifted money from poorest to better-off' through welfare cuts and tax reductions, study claims
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...
£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...