Social assistance reduces poverty

A major study by the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (DREES) of the Ministry of Solidarity shows that social assistance helps reduce poverty. First of all, one observation: in France, 25 million people (40% of the population) have a monthly standard of living of less than € 1,582 and are considered modest; of these, 9.3 million (a large third) have a standard of living below € 1,063 and are considered poor, with women, young people and single or large families being overrepresented. But if the poverty rate thus rises to 14.8% in France, it would be much higher in the absence of the various social benefits (family allowances, housing assistance, social minima, youth guarantee and activity bonus) : 22.3%, estimates the Drees.

The standard of living of the richest 10% is 3.5 times that of the poorest 10%, a figure which would climb to 6.3 without the various social benefits. These therefore have a decisive effect, representing 19% of the disposable income of low-income households and 40% of the income of poor households (+ € 291 on average). If the people who really need it do indeed benefit from the assistance, the question remains to know whether it contributes to lifting them out of poverty. Here, the results are less clear: 23% of RSA beneficiaries get out of poverty after one year, 26% for the specific solidarity allowance (AAS), but this is the case for only 7% of beneficiaries of the disabled adult allowance, a reflection of ” specific difficulties in integrating disabled adults in a precarious situation “. Finally, if young people get out of poverty more easily thanks to the various aids, the DREES notes that the more seniority in the social minima lengthens, the lower the probability of leaving it.


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