Life Style

Presidential 2022: family, the duel of programs between Macron and Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron: a family policy that does not say its name

If the subject is not a priority displayed by the candidate president, his program includes several measures which concern the family, in particular at the two ends of life: early childhood and old age.

Emmanuel Macron says it bluntly: he wants to be re-elected for “Building the France of our children and grandchildren”. The formula appears in the preamble of its program. However, the family is only rarely called upon to carry out this project: it is on the school that the candidate bets to ensure personal emancipation.

→ ANALYSIS. “An unthought of the five-year term”: Emmanuel Macron’s caution on family policy

Family policy nevertheless surfaces according to certain measures shelled out in the name of objectives compatible with the “progressivism” claimed by the Head of State: the reconciliation between family life and professional life, the search for “well-being” and “aging well”, or administrative simplification. As a result, these scattered measures do not draw a global project carried by a precise vision of today’s families according to Emmanuel Macron, but outline, by small touches, certain changes in the daily life of families of the future.

A childcare solution for any parent

Its flagship measure concerns early childhood. The candidate promises to guarantee “an accessible childcare solution for any parent of a child under 3 years old” in order to reconcile family and professional life. The idea of ​​such a right, the contours of which remain to be defined, is not in itself new: repeatedly announced by successive governments, it has also always been rejected because of the difficulties it raises, particularly in a context of staff shortages.

However, choosing to put such a measure forward remains relevant, believes sociologist Julien Damon: “If it were to see the light of day, it would be the major parametric reform that was missing in the five-year period that is ending. » Above all, this project is in tune with the times and the expectations of young parents: “All international studies show that providing childcare to families is the best way to encourage the birth rate”, adds the sociologist.

Another advance pushed by the candidate: simplification and increased support for certain categories of poor families, and in particular single-parent families. Thus, the payment of family allowances, such as aid to combat poverty, will henceforth be automatic, in order to combat endemic non-take-up, while single parents will see their aid for childcare increase and will receive it up to when the child is 12 years old.

On the sidelines of family policy, the outgoing president also wants to better support parents in their educational role, and promises the installation of default parental control on computers and smartphones in order to fight against increasingly early exposure. children to pornography and online violence.

Several measures aimed at old age

Finally, at the other end of life, Emmanuel Macron takes note of the aging of the population and provides for several measures intended for old age. Thus, he wishes to allow seniors to “being able to choose to stay at home” by financing, in part, their work to adapt to dependency (for example the installation of handrails on the stairs, etc.) and by “establishing two hours of conviviality per week”thanks to home visits by carers.

→ ANALYSIS. Leaving home, an ordeal for seniors and their families

Finally, on societal issues, Emmanuel Macron tempers but also opens up debates. Thus, he undertakes to no longer review the legal deadlines for recourse to abortion, already extended by two weeks by his majority, and not to legalize surrogacy. However, on the question of the end of life, the candidate will launch, in the event of election, “a citizens’ convention that will bring together citizens, ethics specialists and professionals”, does he warn.

► Marine Le Pen: an ambitious, costly and discriminating program

Based on national preference, the family policy of the far-right candidate would be very different from that of previous governments. The massive support announced, refocused only on families with a French parent, would nevertheless be very expensive for public finances.

Over 16 pages, Marine Le Pen tries to pose as the champion of the family, “elementary cell of the national community” and “first place of solidarity”, she points out. Believing that this was “well abused by successive governments”the far-right candidate promises a clear break: in the event of an election, the family will be placed ” in the heart (of) presidential project » around four objectives: “encourage the birth rate”, “improve everyday life”, “support purchasing power” and “encourage the preservation of the link between generations”.

Marine Le Pen assumes not to help all families, but only those “whose at least one parent is French”, in contradiction with the universalist tradition of family policy since 1945. Such a change, today contrary to the Constitution, can only be adopted by referendum, in order to circumvent the Constitutional Council.

“This program, certainly worked and copious, is also the bearer of an important ideological coloring, according to sociologist Julien Damon. It aims to reward families who have French children. in order to boost the birth rate without resorting to immigration.

Encourage a declining birth rate

At the cost of tightening the number of beneficiaries, the candidate argues that substantial aid could see the light of day. In particular, it promises an effort to allow young couples to become owners and parents at the same time.

“The real estate bubble is now a considerable obstacle to the creation of new homes”, she analyzes. Also, in the event of an election, the State “will massively support young couples” thanks to a zero-interest loan of €100,000, the remaining capital of which would be canceled from the third child.

→ ANALYSIS. In 2021, parents over 30 cushioned the fall in the birth rate

Still with the aim of encouraging a declining birth rate, it proposes to introduce a full tax share from the second child – in order to allow “for a middle-class household with two children to save €560 each year”. In addition, the purchasing power of single-parent families would be significantly supported, thanks to a doubling of aid for single parents, the family support allowance (ASF), which would increase from €116 to €230 per month and per child. .

To these measures aimed at young parents, Marine Le Pen adds others, intended to “encourage the preservation of the link between generations” : additional tax half-share for widows and widowers, better compensated caregiver leave of twelve months, compensation of €300 per month for anyone who decides to move into the home of a dependent relative, etc.

Exclude 10% of newborns

Still, the financing of this panel of very expensive measures could turn into a headache, warns Julien Damon. If we base ourselves on the births of 2020, restricting the number of beneficiaries of the family policy to only children of at least one French parent would amount to excluding 10% of newborns, i.e. 72,000 each year, for a saving of about “3 billion euros, evaluates the sociologist. This will remain very insufficient to finance the arsenal of new measures, which represent a colossal cost for public finances. »

On the societal level, finally, the candidate promises caution, “after two five-year terms which have fractured French society”. It proposes a three-year moratorium, during which “the only way to open debates on these subjects can only be through the citizens’ initiative referendum”. She undertakes to reinforce the ban on surrogacy, by refusing to “recognize the filiation of children born abroad”.


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