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Family policy: the budget provides massive support for single parents



The 2023 budget will be “very family”, promises the entourage of the Minister of Solidarity Jean-Christophe Combe. From Monday, September 26, he must defend the extension of aid to single-parent families promised by Emmanuel Macron during the presidential campaign. Breaking with previous budgets – where family policy was the bare minimum – a generous envelope of 1.8 billion euros is proposed this year, almost all of which (1.5 billion euros) will benefit parents. who raise their children alone.

Two measures must see the light of day. To fight against unpaid child support, the amount of the family support allowance (ASF) – intended to compensate for the loss, while the State recovers the funds from the bad payer – will increase by 50%, from 123 to 185 € per month. Such an increase “of a rare magnitude”, estimates the sociologist specializing in social issues Julien Damon, represents 900 million per year for the coffers of the State. In addition, single parents will be able to finance a nanny, after school and on Wednesdays, via the childcare supplement (CMG) until the age of 12 for their child, and not until the age of 6 as for the others. families. This represents a cost of 450 million per year.

A social emergency

Such an effort is a response to a social emergency: 41% of minor children who grow up in a single-parent family live below the monetary poverty line, compared to 21% of all children, noted INSEE in 2018. This reality, sometimes underestimated, came to light during the yellow vests crisis, during which many single mothers cried out their difficult end of the month on the roundabouts. This new financial effort constitutes an unprecedented refocusing of family policy on a single category of beneficiaries and enshrines a clearly social aim, disconnected from any support for the birth rate.

Such a change, necessary, must remain a first step, believes the National Union of Family Associations (Unaf). “We hope that the extension to 12 years of childcare aid will soon benefit other types of families, in particular parents of children with disabilities or large families, advances the president, Marie-Andrée Blanc. Of course, there is a specific problem for single parents. A 6-year-old child is not independent, and too many women give up their jobs not to leave their child alone at home after school, when it is imperative to allow them to return to work, to a time when the cost of living explodes due to inflation. But we must not oppose the families “, alert the president.

The outline of a public childcare service

Same reservation for the sociologist Julien Damon, according to whom the priority given to single parents should not create inequalities with other families. “There are also poor couples”, he summarizes. But for them, no boost is provided. He advances another reservation: the reform of the CMG could miss its target: “This tool is not suitable for financing school outings. It is made to hire childminders, i.e. full-time nannies, points out the sociologist. How many will agree to work only a few hours a day? »

In addition, the draft budget lays the first stone of the future public service for early childhood, supposed to guarantee childcare to any parent who requests it. Thus, the cost of hiring a childminder will be aligned with that of a place in a nursery, even if the calculation methods remain to be refined. “This reform is undeniably a step in the right direction but is difficult to implement because the rates for nannies are very diverse, while those for crèches are regulated. It is not easy to know on what basis all this can be harmonized”, warns Michel Villac, president of the High Council for the family. He sent leads to the government in advance.

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