Attal’s Anti-Fraud Plan: Boosting Benefits For Foreign Pensioners

Neither stigmatization nor instrumentalization swears the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts: Gabriel Attal unveiled Monday the measures of his plan against social fraud, aiming to double the adjustments by 2027.

Three weeks after a first plan centered on the fight against tax evasion, and at a time when French accounts are being scrutinized by rating agencies, the government wants to dip into all pockets of fraud.

“Our desire is to look at where the situations of fraud are and respond to them, without stigmatization, without instrumentalization,” the minister told journalists on Monday, and “not to be in denial of a large part of the left nor in the lies of a large part of the extreme right”.

Very difficult to assess, social fraud represents a shortfall of several billion euros. For social benefits alone, this is estimated at between 6 and 8 billion euros per year according to the Court of Auditors.

Three Billion a Year

The minister is giving himself ten years to carry out the social fraud project, with a first stage in 2027: “twice as many results as in 2022”, i.e. a target of three billion euros in recovery per year, said Mr. Attal, recalling that these adjustments have already increased by 35% over the past five years.

For this, he promises the creation of a thousand additional jobs during this five-year term and an investment of one billion euros in information systems.

Regarding the measures, the Minister has drawn up a long inventory at more or less short notice.

Among the symbolic announcements, the government is considering a merger between the Vitale card and the identity card in order to fight against the loan and rental of the Vitale card to benefit from free care.

“We can imagine a model where, from a certain date, when you redo your identity card it automatically becomes your Vitale card”, declared the minister, adding that a prefiguration mission would be launched by summer and could reach conclusions by the end of the year.

By the way, the idea of a biometric Vitale card seems to have been abandoned, especially given its cost.

Residency Requirements

The government also wants to target pensioners living outside European borders in order to better identify those who have died but continue to receive benefits.

This announcement follows an experiment carried out since September in Algeria, during which 300 files of “almost centenarian” retirees out of 1,000 files studied were declared non-compliant, said the minister who recalled that more than a million pensions were paid abroad, half of them outside Europe and 300,000 in Algeria.

The extension of the measure would target retirees over the age of 85.

Also in connection with foreign countries, Mr. Attal wants to “strengthen” the conditions of residence in France “to benefit from social allowances”. It will now be necessary to spend nine months of the year in the country, against six currently planned, to benefit from family allowances or the minimum old age, indicates the minister. The same goes for housing aid (APL) which only requires eight months of presence for the time being.

Regarding fraud in employer contributions, Gabriel Attal intends to increase the means of Urssaf to limit fraud, through hiring and better cross-checking of data.

In addition, the plan provides for the payment at source of the contributions of micro-entrepreneurs by the platforms that make them work, like Uber or Deliveroo, because a certain number under-declare, which represents, according to the Minister, “a social time bomb” insofar as they do not contribute enough.

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