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MEPs vote for graduation according to the economic situation

The way to a possible gradation of the duration of unemployment benefits in relation to the situation on the labor market is open. The National Assembly voted this key measure of the unemployment insurance reform project on Tuesday night amid protests from the left and the RN.

At the first reading, the deputies adopted the first article of this bill by 203 votes to 165. They will this Wednesday continue the consideration of this text, which is expected in the session of the Senate on October 25.

A controversial reform of the first five-year period

This article allows for the extension of the current unemployment insurance rules, as a result of a controversial reform of the first Macron five-year term. It also opens the possibility to modulate unemployment insurance by decree so that it is “stricter when too many jobs are unfilled, more generous when unemployment is high”, in the words of the head of state during the presidential election campaign.

After a consultation phase of six to eight weeks with the social partners, the government will decide by decree what form this graduation will take, with a view to coming into force in early 2023. Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt also confirmed in the six months a “very differentiated application for the overseas territories”, which are harder hit by unemployment. An amendment to this effect by Olivier Serva, elected from Guadeloupe, was adopted by deputies.

This text “declares war on the unemployed”, according to the LFI

The management insists that the reform of unemployment insurance is urgent due to recruitment difficulties in sectors such as hotels, restaurants or construction. This makes it one of the conditions for reaching the goal of full employment in 2027, that is, an unemployment rate of around 5% against 7.4% currently. Renaissance MP Karl Olive thus defended a “society of full employment and work”, rather than “the society of ‘staying at home’ when you can go to work”.

The Liberals and RN, on the other hand, knocked a “blank cheque” back to the government for this reform. This text “declares war against the unemployed”, thundered the leader of LFI deputies Mathilde Panot. “The assisted are not the ones you persecute, but the ones sitting on top that you bow to”, she launched to the majority. The story was almost the same on the other side of the semicircle about the rejection of the bill. RN Caroline Colombier thus challenged the government’s “authoritarian method”.

“Disruption” versus “Legitimacy”

The tone also rose when the communist Sébastien Jumel blamed the Macronists for choosing as rapporteur for this text on unemployment insurance “deputy for the French in Switzerland” Marc Ferracci (elected from the 6th constituency of the foreigner’s French), “Can. you imagine the interruption!” . Philippe Vigier (MoDem) and Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet (Renaissance) then condemned “personal attacks”, while all deputies have “the same legitimacy”.



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