The Court of Auditors points out the impasses of the RSA

Published on 13 Jan. 2022 at 17: 59Updated 15 Jan. 2022 at 18: 23

The renationalisation of the active solidarity income (RSA) is not to the taste of the Court of Auditors. “It is not effective to dissociate financial and operational responsibilities”, no more in terms of minimum poverty than of disabled adult allowance, lectured the first president of the Court, Pierre Moscovici this Thursday, on the occasion of the publication of an ambitious report evaluating this device.

This work, which mobilized ten regional and territorial chambers of accounts and justified the follow-up of a cohort of beneficiaries for seven years, shows once again that the financing of the RSA by the departments is at an impasse, which leads to a -investment in the reintegration effort.

Unfortunate, with regard to a social minima which supported up to 2.1 million beneficiaries in November 2020, for an annual budget of 15 billion, of which 13 billion allowances. However, Pierre Moscovici does not approve of the “patch” which, in his eyes constitutes the renationalisation of the allowance, effective in French Guiana and Mayotte, and committed to Reunion and Seine-Saint-Denis .

“Incomplete decentralization”

The Court recalls that the territorial leader of social action is the department, and considers that the management of the RSA suffers rather from “incomplete decentralization”. It is the family allowance funds that process applications and pay the allowances. In addition, Pôle emploi and its partners are in charge of employment support. Only social support remains in the hands of the department.

As for the cost of the allowance for the departments, it was not fully compensated by the State. Since 2003 (with the RMI, then from 42 its successor, the RSA), spending increased by 59% while transfers corresponding financial statements grew by only 23%. Pierre Moscovici therefore pleads for “re-establishing the funder-decision-maker identity by transferring resources to the departments, in compliance with the unifying principles defined by the legislator” – that is to say without touching the eligibility criteria or the scales.

It is necessary to “consolidate the departments in their responsibilities”, “by ensuring that they fully exercise their steering, decision-making, coordination, sanction and evaluation skills”, recommended the former minister. This is the first of the three “orientations” put forward by the Court.

Unfavorable opinion for automatic payment

In second position comes the fight against non-recourse, which affects three out of ten potential beneficiaries and has not faltered since 2020. But the automatic payment envisaged by the current government will not be the solution, according to Pierre Moscovici, because it goes “against the overall philosophy” of the RSA, “centered on support and personalization”.

Precisely, this support and this personalization are clearly insufficient. As proof, “seven years after the entry into the RSA of a cohort of beneficiaries, alone 34 % have left and are in employment – ​​and of these, only a third are in stable employment”, notes the Court in its report. The others remained subscribed to the RSA (42 %) or left it without working (24 %).

Surveyed by the BVA institute, the beneficiaries of the RSA confided that this device had a financial interest for them (it is effective in getting out of extreme poverty), “support”, and made it possible to “feel less isolated”. But they don’t expect much from it in terms of training or a return to work.

A “pure form” contractualisation

And for good reason: only half of the social support recipients have signed a “reciprocal commitment contract”, and 30 % of those followed by Pôle emploi benefit from an intensive course, with very little training involved. The Court denounces a “pure form” contractualization and “an almost non-existent individual monitoring of rights and duties”.

Hence the third “orientation” stated by Pierre Moscovici: “Give full application to the logic of rights and duties” and “improve support for employment”. This requires more intensive and long-term monitoring. Once these conditions are met, it is necessary to consider “perhaps an additional investment in financial means”, advances Emmanuel Giannesini, counter-rapporteur at the Court. This “social investment in people” would make it possible to reduce the expenditure on benefits by facilitating the resumption of activity.