Atmosphere under very high tension this Thursday, June 17 at the National Assembly.
The reason ?
The government forced the deputies to vote a revision of the calculation of the disabled adult allowance (AAH) for couples, by rejecting its “individualization”, however widely supported in the hemicycle and by the associative world.
Clearly, the spouse's income will continue to be taken into account for the calculation of the AAH, depending on the version adopted.
A snub and a great disappointment for the associations for the defense of disabled adults who have been demanding for many years that the spouse's income is no longer taken into account for the calculation of this benefit.
As a reminder, if you are disabled and your spouse earns more than 1,020 euros net per month, the amount of your AAH (903.60 euros) is declining, until it is deleted if the income exceeds 2,270 euros. net.
Created in 1975, the allowance now has more than 1.2 million beneficiaries, 270,000 of whom are couples, for an annual expenditure of around 11 billion euros.
"I am ashamed of it for you"
This Thursday, in the hemicycle, faced with the outcry of all oppositions, part of the majority and the Modem, which pitched, the government initially asked for a postponement of the vote on the proposal of the relevant law, then used the blocked vote, leaving MPs no choice but to vote without editing the version approved by the executive. To protest, right and left left the hemicycle. The text must now go back to the Senate or more likely be included in the next Social Security budget for application on January 1, 2022.
"This is a very serious attack on parliamentary democracy and I am ashamed of it for you," thundered the boss of PCF deputies André Chassaigne to the address of the Secretary of State for the disabled, Sophie Cluzel. In the corridors of the Palais-Bourbon, PCF deputy Stéphane Peu, defender of the new measure which plans to individualize aid, denounced "a government maneuver, not honorable and humiliating for people with disabilities".
At his side, Jeanine Dubié (Liberty and Territories), who also defended the new measure, saw it as a sign that "the government does not trust its parliamentarians".
Two steps away, facing the cameras and the press, François Ruffin (LFI), attacked head-on: "They force the disabled to choose between the stock market and the heart".
Not to be outdone, on the LR bench, Marc Le Fur also criticized the majority: "You are ruining everything," he stormed.
Obviously moved, and affected by the accusations that flew everywhere during the four hours of this tumultuous session, Sophie Cluzel assured to be "totally respectful of everyone" and denounced "a miserable vision of disability".
A measure that would cost 700 million euros
Even in the ranks of LREM, and of the Modem, an embarrassment seized some deputies. Some hesitated on their vote, especially on the MoDem side, and the Agir ally was for individualization, so as not to penalize certain beneficiaries. As an aside, Stella Dupont (LREM) called for "a real social debate on this complex subject which touches the intimate". The boss of LREM deputies Christophe Castaner tried to close ranks in a message to his troops. "Let us not fall into the trap of oppositions," he told them.
Behind the scenes, a question kept circling: why has the government persisted in this refusal for months?
Sophie Cluzel made substantive arguments: "The individualization of the AAH would remove 1.2 million beneficiaries from ordinary law" and will open "the breach in the deconstruction of our social protection systems", she points out. keep.
And to quote the RSA, the APL, the solidarity allowance for the elderly - the allocation of which also depends on the taking into account of household income.
Beyond the positions of principle, it is also a budgetary question that is at stake. The measure would cost 700 million euros at a time when the executive is looking for money to finance its dependency reform project .
A report that calls for savings
Does the government have another idea in mind? A report commissioned by the government on the financing of the 5th branch of Social Security - this new fund dedicated to the autonomy of the elderly and disabled people - provides another reading.
This document, submitted on September 14, 2020, recommends saving on the disabled adult allowance (AAH), up to 400 million euros per year. "An objective of regulating the expenditure of AAH by the new branch could be proposed, up to 400 million euros in trend by 2024", writes the Inspector of Finance Laurent Vachey. It even sets the schedule for this "saving measure" of 100 million euros in 2022, 200 million in 2023, 300 million in 2024, then 400 each year, or about 3.5% of the annual budget of the company. 'AAH with a total amount of 10.6 billion euros ...