the bailout of state coffers “is a biased argument” | EUROtoday

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Prime Minister Gabriel Attal needs a brand new “global” reform of unemployment insurance coverage geared toward encouraging a return to employment at a time when public funds are, in line with him, in a “serious” state of affairs. According to Anne Eydoux, lecturer in economics at Cnam, this argument is in actuality “an argument that is more ideological than scientific”.

Faced with a price range deficit that continues to extend, the French Prime Minister is relying on full employment to enhance the state's accounts. Gabriel Attal offered, Wednesday March 27 on TF1, his goal of seeing the variety of unemployed scale back, mentioning specifically the discount of the length of compensation for unemployed individuals to 12 months. But whereas the principles for unemployment insurance coverage have already been tightened twice since Emmanuel Macron was president, notably going from a length of compensation of 24 to 18 months, the proposal from the top of presidency to cut back it additional arouses the anger of commerce union organizations.

The Prime Minister had introduced collectively his ministers a number of hours earlier than this intervention for a seminar on the topic, and requested his Minister of Labor Catherine Vautrin “to prepare new negotiations” with the social companions.

The CGT describes this measure as “unacceptable”, whereas the CFDT considers that this regime can’t be a “budgetary adjustment variable”.

“We will not solve the problem of unemployment by degrading the living conditions of the most precarious,” reacts on the social community X Olivier Guivarch, common secretary of the CFDT. “Out of 5 million job seekers, only 2.8 million are compensated, half of whom are working! The number of unfilled offers is 330,000. We must stop this stigmatization.”

“What does Gabriel Attal want?” asks François Hommeril, president of the CFE-CGC, about the identical community. “He wants a 52-year-old unemployed senior technician to accept any job, from diving to guarding a parking lot.”

For Anne Eydoux, lecturer in economics on the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (Cnam), “it is not up to unemployment insurance to replenish the state coffers”. Also a researcher on the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Economic Sociology (Lisa-CNRS) and on the Center for Employment and Labor Studies (CEET), the latter affirms that the discount within the length of compensation for the unemployed has not both to speed up the return to employment.

France 24: Does the discount within the length of unemployment compensation actually affect the “bailout of state coffers” ?

Anne Eydoux: First, it should be mentioned that if the State had not granted serial reductions in contributions and if it had not eradicated the worker contribution to unemployment insurance coverage, it might not need to contribute to the unemployment insurance coverage right this moment (instead of workers and companies).

It is lower than Unedic (an affiliation led by the social companions and accountable by public service delegation for the administration of unemployment insurance coverage in France, in cooperation with France Travail, Editor's word) to replenish the coffers of the State. Unedic already funds the general public employment service and has simply been known as upon to finance the France Travail reform. This newest reform requires a reorganization of the general public employment and integration service which requires further assets. The authorities which selected it has not elevated the price range allotted to it. In actuality, this reform is financed solely by cuts in unemployment insurance coverage and within the solidarity system for unemployed individuals on the finish of their rights. In different phrases, it’s the unemployed who pay for the reform of the general public employment and integration service.

The argument [du renflouement] of state coffers is a biased argument. The authorities highlights its deficit, however that isn’t actually the problem relating to unemployment insurance coverage. If the state needs to cut back its deficit, it could possibly enhance its revenues – taxes. To scale back Unédic's deficit, its financing should be restored by restoring worker unemployment insurance coverage contributions and growing employer contributions. There isn’t any cause to additional reduce unemployment advantages.

Why is unemployment insurance coverage such a interest horse for the federal government ?

Reforming unemployment insurance coverage is a part of Emmanuel Macron's neoliberal program, and extra broadly of the federal government. In 2017, candidate Macron was already planning its takeover by the State. To do that, he abolished worker unemployment insurance coverage contributions, within the identify of bettering the buying energy of workers. It appeared innocuous. However, these worker contributions are the very basis of the system's contributory nature. This is what permits the unemployed to say to themselves: “I have contributed for this right to unemployment insurance”. And that is what justifies Unedic, the unemployment insurance coverage scheme, being managed equally by the social companions who finance it.

Today, worker unemployment insurance coverage contributions have been abolished, decreasing the legitimacy of the unemployed to obtain an allowance proportional to their earlier wage, and that of unions to barter with employer representatives on the principles of unemployment insurance coverage. unemployment.

With the Professional Future legislation of 2018, the State regained management of unemployment insurance coverage. Today, the federal government is establishing the agenda and the street map for the negotiations. It units unattainable goals, which make it unattainable for the social companions to achieve an settlement, after which decides alone on the compensation guidelines.

The unemployment insurance coverage agreements negotiated by the social companions each three years have been changed by everlasting reforms that more and more scale back the rights of the unemployed. They first affected essentially the most precarious in 2019. While unemployment appears to be on the rise once more (the unemployment price is 7.5% of the lively inhabitants for the fourth quarter of 2023, Editor's word), these reforms assault right this moment to the length of compensation, which additionally impacts unemployed individuals with a secure skilled previous. Older individuals are notably uncovered: the discount in compensation rights and the top of the profit for unemployed individuals on the finish of their rights (ASS) add to the rise within the retirement age.

The authorities's argument is that decreasing rights would pace up the return to work. This is an argument extra ideological than scientific.

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Gabriel Attal says he needs to repeat the mannequin of unemployment insurance coverage in Germany, which has full employment whereas its unemployed obtain compensation for a shorter time period. So is that this the suitable equation to realize full employment? ?

In the early 2000s, Chancellor Schröder's Germany handed a collection of neoliberal labor market reforms (the so-called “Hartz reforms”) which each made deep cuts in unemployment insurance coverage and inspired unemployment. growth of precarious jobs. They have favored the creation of dangerous jobs (mini jobs, 1 euro jobs for the unemployed) in companies, which have additionally contributed to deteriorating the employment circumstances of girls.

But these reforms should not have a lot to do with the nation's good employment efficiency after the 2008 disaster. These are primarily linked to the nation's industrial mannequin: firstly to the position of the social companions who negotiated a large recourse to partial unemployment to guard industrial employment, then the resumption of demand from rising international locations for German manufacturing (luxurious automobiles, machine instruments).

Since then, Germany has reversed these Hartz reforms. Politically, that they had completely distanced the social democrats from their citizens. Economically, they weighed on buying energy and progress. It was finally a conservative – Angela Merkel – who carried out extra social reforms. Germany has applied a minimal wage, which is right this moment greater than the French minimal wage, and has re-regulated fixed-term employment contracts and momentary work. We may take inspiration from it.

While Germany has backpedaled on neoliberal reforms, France continues to maneuver headlong on these reforms which have confirmed to be dangerous. But it’s not by attacking the unemployed that we’ll scale back unemployment.

Has the discount within the length of compensation been confirmed elsewhere? ?

There are evaluations of the consequences of decreasing the length and quantities of compensation in a number of international locations, together with France, which launched a degressive unemployment profit in 1992 (known as Allocation distinctive degressive). The argument was already that this could speed up the return to employment of the unemployed. But the evaluations didn’t present any impact on returning to work. Paradoxically, they even famous a rise within the length of unemployment for executives. However, it’s for them that the degression of allocations was just lately put again in place.

In different international locations, some evaluations have urged a weak impact of the discount in profit durations on return to employment. Some evaluations have urged that the advance in employment charges is paid for by a discount within the high quality of jobs discovered by the unemployed. Nowhere has the discount in profit durations led to an enormous drop in unemployment or a return to full employment.

The pace with which the unemployed discover a job relies upon way more on the financial state of affairs, on the presence of jobs to be stuffed, in amount and high quality. For instance, in France, till the Seventies, unemployment insurance coverage was beneficiant (with excessive wage alternative charges and durations of compensation), but the unemployed rapidly discovered employment. The nation was at full employment. Nobody then thought-about it vital to cut back the length of unemployment to hurry up the return to work. Unemployment insurance coverage protects the unemployed, it’s not the reason for unemployment.

Today we’re due to this fact confronted with a misunderstanding of the causes of unemployment. The authorities persists in making use of neoliberal recipes which haven’t confirmed efficient, besides to impoverish the unemployed.

The perform of unemployment insurance coverage is to help the buying energy of the unemployed and assure their proper to an ample revenue. It additionally has a countercyclical macroeconomic position, which consists of making certain that the unemployed are comparatively maintained of their revenue to help demand and progress.

Preserving a beneficiant unemployment insurance coverage system is crucial to help the revenue of those that are disadvantaged of labor, particularly in occasions of inflation. This is essential to cushioning future financial crises.