Véronique Devise: “It is absolutely necessary to make young people a priority for the five-year term”

La Croix: Never before has the far right reached such a level in a presidential election. What lesson does Secours Catholique, which had called for a blockade of Marine Le Pen, draw from this?

Veronique Motto: At Secours Catholique, where half of the people received are of foreign origin, this score, which refers to the rejection of foreigners, worries us. Immigrants have become the scapegoats for all the problems of our society. We see the question of immigration only from a security angle. However, we could really solve the problem differently.

→ ANALYSIS. How the French economy needs immigrants

I am not saying that all foreigners should be regularized, but once they are there, they should be welcomed with dignity. When you give enough French lessons, training, you are human enough, people find their place and there is no problem. However, on our side, we do not even respect their fundamental rights. When you think that on the Italian border or along the Channel, from Normandy to Dunkirk, no official structure provides food or showers… In Calais, it took a legal battle to obtain it.

→ MAINTENANCE. Presidential 2022: “We must help the poor to regain a role in society”

This score also shows that beyond the classic far-right electorate, some of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s voters, including undoubtedly a certain number of people living in poverty, voted for Marine Le Pen. Many people are in pain and do not feel heard. We should at least take their expertise into account when developing public policy concerning them.

The associations believe that Emmanuel Macron’s record has been disappointing in the fight against poverty. How are you approaching this second mandate?

DV: The results of Emma’s first five-year term

nuel Macron is very thin. For this second term, it is absolutely necessary to make young people, weakened by the health crisis, a priority. In his poverty strategy, Emmanuel Macron wanted to focus on children and young people. But apart from the youth employment contract, which extends the existing youth guarantee, there is not much.

Moreover, this employment contract, which provides for support plus an allowance for a maximum of 18 months, is not sufficient. These young people, often in family breakdown, need longer support. Between the ages of 18 and 25, it’s really the window of opportunity to try to get them out of poverty. Afterwards, everything becomes more difficult. We are in favor of opening the RSA from the age of 18 and of tailor-made support.

→ ANALYSIS. Emmanuel Macron’s program: the RSA conditioned on an activity, an old idea not so easy to apply

Families in poverty with children are also in great pain and should be given priority. One in five children grows up in a poor family. With the RSA, parents have nothing to do other than constantly arbitrate between paying the rent, buying food or settling a bill. We must break this infernal spiral. We are asking for the revaluation of the RSA, first at the level of the poverty line (730 € against 575 € for a single person at present), to gradually bring it to 50% of the median income, or around 900 €.

Emmanuel Macron has already indicated that he considers that the way out of poverty should not go through a monetary allowance but through work. You do not agree ?

DV: Most people living in poverty want to work, to participate in society. But on the one hand, some cannot work right away, because of health problems, their remoteness from the job market… On the other hand, you have to understand that with the RSA, they are caught in a race to survival and cannot project themselves into a job.

If, as Emmanuel Macron has indicated, it conditions the RSA to an activity, training, an internship, it must be, not a sanction, but a springboard for getting out of poverty. It is therefore necessary that this activity, which will require babysitting, paying for the canteen, traveling, be remunerated, in addition to the RSA. We will therefore be vigilant.

On the other hand, the automatic payment of social benefits seems to us a good thing. At Secours Catholique, a third of the people received do not have recourse to the aid for which they are eligible. No longer having to ask for them will therefore be a real plus.

→ FIND the results of the 2nd round of the 2022 presidential election, commune by commune


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