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Cela devient cher d'être pauvre

Contact presse : Vanessa Retureau

Libraires et Salons : Anne-Marie de Sousa

Collection : 
Parution : 
02/10/2013
216 pages
Format :
130 x 185 mm
EAN : 
9782234073425
Prix: 
12.50 €

Cela devient cher d'être pauvre

Dans le domaine de la pauvreté, il existe un gouff re spectaculaire, mais rarement exploré : celui de la double peine. Des loyers plus chers au mètre carré. Des tarifs d’ assurance moins avantageux pour les chômeurs. La minute de téléphone plus coûteuse pour les petits budgets. Un accès à la santé menacé par des barrières fi nancières plus hautes. Le gaz et l’ électricité en constante augmentation. Un gouff re qui engloutit une bonne part du revenu des plus modestes et des aides sociales.

Prenant acte que les caisses sont désormais vides, l ’auteur propose d’inverser la stratégie de lutte contre la pauvreté : réduire les coûts supportés par ceux qui ont moins, faire payer en fonction du revenu, restituer aux plus modestes les sommes importantes qui leur ont été subrepticement subtilisées et renforcer un revenu de solidarité active inachevé, plutôt que le démanteler. Les entreprises ont toute leur place dans cette nouvelle stratégie, comme le montrent des initiatives récentes pour diminuer le coût de l’ alimentation infantile, des lunettes, de la réparation automobile, que ce livre propose de multiplier et développer à plus large échelle. Une stratégie off ensive pour que les pauvres, mais aussi l’ ensemble de la société, en aient davantage pour leur argent.

BEING POOR IS GETTING EXPENSIVE

Can we stem the increase of poverty when recession keeps on going, the public coffers are empty, and the social security system is on its last legs? Will society pay a high price for the poor? Stringent analysis of the economic mechanisms that govern poverty show that it is those with the most modest means who often pay the highest price in their day-to-day lives. In order to have access to essential services, they pay more than the population average. Hardly surprising, then, that the system is burning itself out in a desperate scramble between destitution and benefits payments.
 

A number of highly original initiatives, inspired by the Noble Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, hope to cap this phenomenon with the help of businesses, organisations and researchers. How to make infant nutrition affordable? How to ensure no one has to go without glasses? How to reduce the cost of accommodation?

And what if, taking the economy of poverty as our starting point, we managed to make businesses adapt to embrace their primary vocation? Even then, it would be a struggle to avoid destroying what has been so painstakingly transformed. Before changes in the French income support system, there was no advantage to working for those at on the bottom rung of the ladder: going back to work brought in no extra money. Why return to the old system that was so universally denounced?

What different ideologies are pitted against each other? And what if pitting the poor against each other was just the oldest method in the book for ensuring nothing changes for those who feel they’re at a safe distance?

 

Martin Hirsch is a senior member of the council of state and was chairman of the charity Emmaüs France. In his role as a commissioner in the battle to reduce poverty, he created the current “RSA” income support system in France. He is the author of some dozen books, including Manifeste contre la pauvreté (2004), Pour en finir avec les conflits d’intérêts (2010) and La Lettre perdue (2012).