Soon more than 10 million poor people in France, according to Secours Catholique

Soon more than 10 million poor people in France, according to Secours Catholique

Secours Catholique draws up a worrying assessment in its annual report on poverty, published Thursday.

Members of Secours Catholique distribute breakfast to people in need in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), April 3, 2020, during the first confinement.  (LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP)

Poverty is on the rise in France. “Pay the canteen or the rent? To eat or to dress? ” Families must make “Impossible choices” faced with ever heavier burdens and insufficient resources, warns Secours Catholique in its annual report on poverty, published Thursday, November 12.

In 2019, the association helped 1.4 million people, including more than 650,000 children. The median standard of living of these people is 537 euros, well below the poverty line set in 2018 at 1,063 euros. In an interview with Parisian, the president of the association, Véronique Fayet, affirms: “France will cross the 10 million poor mark in 2020.”

“The situation is dramatic”

In its report compiling data from 2019, and therefore before the Covid-19 crisis, the Secours catholique studied “in detail” the budget of 3,000 families followed by the association, explained to AFP Véronique Fayet. After deducting constrained expenses (rent, water and energy bills, insurance, etc.), half of the people live on less than nine euros per day. This “Stay to live” must finance food, clothing, hygiene products, etc.

“With budgets so tight and below the minimums for a decent living, the people whom Secours Catholique meets are daily forced to make impossible choices”, according to the report. Many must “Focus on food expenses at the risk of not being able to pay rent or bills”.

“The current crisis will further increase poverty and inequalities, highlighted Véronique Fayet. Many people who were in great economic fragility fell into poverty. The situation is dramatic ”.

For the establishment of a guaranteed minimum income

Families in particular suffered from the closure of school canteens during the first confinement: “This generated enormous additional costs in families with two, three, four children”, explains the president. Otherwise, “People who managed with odd jobs saw their resources disappear”.

The Catholic Aid wishes “A social floor that protects everyone” and calls for the introduction of a guaranteed minimum income, which would amount to 893 euros (50% of the median standard of living). The association asks that it be accessible to young people from 18 years old and to foreigners as soon as they obtain their residence permit, “Two populations particularly affected by poverty”.