Macron, Le Pen spar over incapacity allowance in TV debate – EURACTIV.com

Incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right contender Marine Le Pen clashed over the present observe of taking into consideration the associate’s earnings when calculating the allowance for disabled adults in a debate forward of their ultimate face-off on Sunday (24 April). EURACTIV France studies.

The problem was raised simply fifteen minutes into Wednesday’s televised debate.

“You have decided to oppose the fact that you can grant the [disabled adult] allowance regardless of the spouse’s income,” the far-right Rassemblement National chief instructed Macron.

Macron acknowledged that however added: “You didn’t vote for it either, you weren’t there”.

The allowance for disabled adults, generally often called AAH, is a monetary support that may go as much as €904 per 30 days. It is supposed to supply disabled folks with a minimal earnings, particularly, to assist them grow to be extra impartial. Around 1.2 million folks in France obtain the AAH.

All candidates besides Macron and far-right candidate Éric Zemmour promised that the associate’s earnings would now not be taken into consideration when calculating the AAH.

Since the adoption of the Social Security Financing Law, the AAH now operates via a flat-rate allowance system, which nonetheless doesn’t assure the independence of disabled folks.

Several associations and collectives have denounced this methodology of calculation: “Placing the person receiving the AAH in a situation of dependence on his or her spouse is to deny his or her existence as an autonomous individual,” APF France handicap mentioned in November.

However, ensuring the disabled have autonomy is essential, together with for his or her survival.

“If a disabled woman is beaten by her husband, who works, and therefore does not receive the AAH, she will not have access to her own resources to leave her home,” Pierre-Yves Baudot, co-author with Emmanuelle Fillion of “Le handicap, cause politique”, warned in an interview with EURACTIV.

A debated problem

The AAH has just lately was a extremely political problem regardless of being a “very old demand of disabled people”, Baudot, who can also be a professor of sociology on the University of Paris Dauphine, additionally mentioned.

Lawmakers additionally grappled with the difficulty.

Jeanine Dubié, deputy of the Radical Left Party PRG, tabled a invoice proposing to cease basing the allowance on the partner’s earnings. However, the proposal was blocked by the bulk in December 2021 after six months of backs-and-forths between the National Assembly and the Senate.

On 15 April, lower than ten days earlier than the second election spherical, the difficulty got here again as Macron instructed the France Info broadcaster that he wished to “move” on it.

“We must move on this point. Today, whatever the benefit (…), we look at your family situation and the couple’s ability to contribute. What is true is that this creates an aberrant situation for people with disabilities. So we’re going to move it,” he mentioned, with out giving additional particulars.

Just a few months earlier, Disability Minister Sophie Cluzel additionally hinted {that a} proposal to reform the AAH might be thought-about through the subsequent 5 years.

Macron now wanting reform? 

However, throughout Wednesday’s televised debate, Macron confirmed he’s now “in favour” of correcting the “side effect” to realize better autonomy for folks with disabilities, echoing the trail he proposed on 15 April.

Baudot mentioned Macron voicing his change of coronary heart so near the elections might be a calculated manoeuvre.

“It’s a very emotional subject. It’s complicated to say no. There is a logic of consensus that is automatically put in place. Macron wants to avoid being caught out on his lack of heart, his argument is planned,” he defined.

Reforming the AAH in order to cease taking into consideration the partner’s earnings can also be a part of Le Pen’s programme, which additionally proposes an allowance increase to €1060 per 30 days, an increase she has been advocating since 2012, Baudot added.

“It was surprising to see the issue come up so early in the debate,” mentioned Baudot, regretting that incapacity points, just like the so-called Élan regulation or the accessibility of the disabled, have been then dropped from the talk.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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