Study by the Jean Jaurès Foundation on universal income


Recently, the Jean Jaurès Foundation unveiled the results of a study on the impact of introducing a basic income for all French people. It concludes that the effectiveness of this measure would only be ensured by adopting an amount close to the poverty line… The report published by the Foundation refers in particular to an income of 750 euros, the cost of which is estimated at over 500 billion euros, but which could be covered by an increase in VAT..

Basic income for all

In April 2016, Deputy Christophe Sirugue submitted a report to Prime Minister Manuel Valls in which he supported the establishment of a universal income of at least 400 euros. This amount would be paid to any French person in a precarious situation. This proposal had not failed to raise some criticism. Later, it was the Jean Jaurès Foundation’s turn to express itself by revealing the results of a study undertaken by its experts… Its proposal proved even more audacious. This concerns the granting of a higher basic income to which all French people would be entitled. 3 hypotheses were studied: 500, 750 and 1,000 euros to be paid monthly.

What amount?

fondation jean jauresEstablishing a basic income for all French people will undoubtedly have impacts, not only social, but also financial. In any case, it would be a real revolution. As part of the Jean Jaurès Foundation’s study, the experts therefore examined three hypotheses regarding the amount that would be allocated to all French people: 500, 750 and 1,000 euros.

The specialists then stated that it would be possible to finance each of these situations. On the other hand, the proposal based on a monthly amount of 750 euros (involving the payment of a different amount depending on age) would be the most realistic of all.

750 euro allocation: how would this work in practice?

In concrete terms, this means granting 225, 375 and 750 euros respectively up to 15 years of age, between 15 and 18 years of age, between 18 and 65 years of age and 1,125 after 65 years of age. Adopting this measure would cost around €565 billion, which represents just over a quarter of GDP. And even if the figure seems rather exorbitant, it could be financed by making changes in the breakdown of expenditure that is currently borne under “social protection”. This would include costs related to health insurance, pensions, family allowances or unemployment. However, it should be noted that the costs of long-term illnesses are not taken into account.

basic income

At the same time, VAT would be increased by 2 points, with a view to ensuring that social protection is supported by consumption and not by work. In any case, the Foundation emphasises that this 750 euro allocation is close to the poverty line, but it would still cover “basic needs”, whether for housing, health care or retirement. As for the actual granting of the amount, it would not be through “vouchers” that could be exchanged for social benefits (housing, transport, health, etc.).

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