Family, the duel of programs between Macron and Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron: a family policy that does not say his name

If the issue is not a priority displayed by the candidate for president, his program includes several measures that concern the family, in particular at the two extremes of life: early childhood and old age.

Emmanuel Macron says it bluntly: he wants to be re-elected to “Build the France of our children and grandchildren”. The formula appears in the preamble of your program. However, the family is rarely called upon to carry out this project: it is to the school that the candidate bets to ensure personal emancipation.

→ ANALYSIS. “An unthinkable five-year period”: Emmanuel Macron’s caution on family policy

Family policy, however, emerges according to certain measures outlined in the name of objectives compatible with the “progressiveness” claimed by the Head of State: the reconciliation of family life and professional life, the search for “well-being” and “aging well” . , or administrative simplification. Consequently, these scattered measures do not draw a global project led by a precise vision of today’s families according to Emmanuel Macron, but rather outline, with small touches, certain changes in the day-to-day life of future families.

A child care solution for any parent

Its emblematic measure refers to early childhood. The candidate promises to guarantee “an accessible child care solution for any parent of a child under 3 years old” to reconcile family and professional life. The idea of ​​such a right, whose contours remain to be defined, is not new in itself: repeatedly announced by successive governments, it has also always been rejected due to the difficulties it poses, particularly in a context of staff shortages. .

However, choosing to introduce such a measure is still relevant, sociologist Julien Damon believes: “If it saw the light, it would be the great parametric reform that was missing in the five-year period that is ending. » Above all, this project is in tune with the times and the expectations of young parents: “All international studies show that providing child care to families is the best way to encourage birth rates”, adds the sociologist.

Another advance promoted by the candidate: simplification and greater support for certain categories of poor families and, in particular, single-parent families. Thus, the payment of family allowances, such as aid to fight poverty, will from now on be automatic, to combat endemic uprooting, while single-parent families will see their childcare aid increased and will receive up to that the son is 12 years old.

Aside from family policy, the outgoing president also wants to better support parents in their educational role and promises to install default parental controls on computers and smartphones to combat children’s increasingly early exposure to pornography and online violence.

Various measures aimed at old age

Finally, at the other end of life, Emmanuel Macron takes note of the aging of the population and foresees various measures aimed at old age. Therefore, he wishes to allow older people “being able to choose to stay at home” financing, in part, their adaptation works to the dependency (for example, the installation of handrails on the stairs, etc.) and “Establishing two hours of coexistence a week”thanks to home visits by caregivers.

→ ANALYSIS. Leaving home, an ordeal for the elderly and their families

Finally, on social issues, Emmanuel Macron tempers but also opens debates. Thus, he agrees not to further review the legal deadlines to resort to abortion, already extended for two weeks by the majority, and not to legalize surrogacy. However, on the question of the end of life, the candidate will launch, in the event of an election, “a citizen convention that will bring together citizens, ethicists and professionals”, he warns.

► Marine Le Pen: an ambitious, costly and discriminatory program

Based on national preference, the far-right candidate’s family policy would be very different from previous governments. The massive support announced, refocused only on families with French parents, would however be very costly for public finances.

Throughout 16 pages, Marine Le Pen tries to pass herself off as the champion of the family, “elementary cell of the national community” Y “first place of solidarity”, she points. Believing this was “well abused by successive governments”the far-right candidate promises a clear break: in the event of elections, the family will be placed ” to the heart (from) presidential project » around four objectives: “encourage fertility”, “improve everyday life”, “support purchasing power” Y “favor the preservation of the link between generations”.

Marine Le Pen assumes not to help all families, but only those “whose at least one of the parents is French”, in contradiction with the universalist tradition of family policy since 1945. Such a change, today contrary to the Constitution, can only be adopted by referendum, to avoid the Constitutional Council.

“This program, certainly elaborate and copious, is also the bearer of an important ideological nuance, according to sociologist Julien Damon. Its objective is to reward families with French children. to increase the birth rate without resorting to immigration.

Encourage a declining birth rate

At the cost of tightening the number of beneficiaries, the candidate maintains that substantial aid could see the light of day. In particular, he promises an effort to allow young couples to become owners and parents at the same time.

“The real estate bubble is now a considerable obstacle for the creation of new houses”, She analyzes. Likewise, in the event of elections, the State “will massively support young couples” thanks to an interest-free loan of €100,000, the remaining capital of which would be paid by the third child.

→ ANALYSIS. In 2021, parents over 30 years of age cushioned the drop in the birth rate

Still aiming to encourage a declining birth rate, he proposes to introduce a full share of second child taxes, to allow “for a middle-class household with two children, save €560 each year”. In addition, the purchasing power of single-parent families would be significantly supported, thanks to a doubling of aid for single parents, the family support subsidy (ASF), which would go from €116 to €230 per month and per child.

To these measures aimed at young parents, Marine Le Pen adds others, aimed at “promote the preservation of the bond between generations” : half an additional tax installment for widows and widowers, better paid carers’ leave for twelve months, compensation of €300 per month for those who decide to move into the home of a dependent relative, etc.

Exclude 10% of newborns

Even so, financing this panel of very expensive measures could become a headache, warns Julien Damon. Based on births in 2020, restricting the number of beneficiaries of the family policy to the only children of at least one French parent would be equivalent to excluding 10% of newborns, that is, 72,000 each year, with a saving of some “3 billion euros, the sociologist evaluates. This will continue to be very insufficient to finance the arsenal of new measures, which represent a colossal cost for public finances. »

On a social level, finally, the candidate promises caution, “after two five-year mandates that have fractured French society”. It proposes a moratorium of three years, during which “The only way to open debates on these issues can only be through the citizens’ initiative referendum.” It undertakes to reinforce the prohibition of surrogacy, refusing to “recognize the filiation of children born abroad”.

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