It is the fruit of a long battle, fought continuously for years by the departmental majorities of Seine-Saint-Denis. Tuesday, September 21, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, gave the green light to an experiment, for a period of five years, of recentralization of the income of active solidarity (RSA). ” It’s urgent “, admitted the head of government, recalling that this department has a poverty rate of 28.6%, double the national average, and has 90,000 RSA recipients, 44% of whom have been registered for more than five years. “This is not the first time that the idea has been mentioned, it has been considered on numerous occasions since the 2010s, underlined Mr. Castex. Many have said it, many have promised it. Today we do. “
Seine-Saint-Denis thus becomes the first metropolitan department to experiment with this recentralization, already implemented overseas in Guyana, Mayotte and Reunion. For Stéphane Troussel, the president (Socialist Party) of the departmental council, it is about“A historic agreement [qui] puts an end to a budgetary injustice which made us bear nearly 20 million additional euros each year in respect of the payment of the RSA “. Since 2012, when he took office, the cost of RSA for the department has increased by 54% to reach 551 million euros in 2020, which represents more than a quarter (26.3%) of its Functionnary costs. Over the same period, the remainder to be borne by the department increased from 100 to 227 million euros, an increase of 120% and a weight of 137 euros per inhabitant, the highest in France.
Although the State, when the financing of the minimum integration income was transferred in 2004, then from the RSA to the departments, undertook to reimburse them “to the nearest euro”, the part compensated by the State does not has stopped decreasing: it is now barely 60%. “Basing national solidarity expenditure on a community can only worsen inequalities between territories since it is those who experience the most economic and social difficulties who are the most penalized”, notes Mr. Troussel.
Imbalance of local finances
In 2015, the Assembly of French Departments (ADF), then with a majority on the left, had initiated negotiations with the government of François Hollande for a recentralization of the RSA, before issuing, in 2016, a negative vote in view of the proposed conditions. During the presentation by Edouard Philippe, in October 2019, of the plan “the stronger State in Seine-Saint-Denis”, the president of the department had questioned him on the financing of social spending, without the subject being treated. When Mr. Castex was appointed in July 2020, he relaunched the latter, who then undertook to open negotiations.
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