Three weeks after approving a plan to combat tax evasion, the minister responsible for public accounts, Gabriel Atal, said that the government intends to “tighten” residency conditions in France “to benefit from social benefits”.
On Monday, the French government revealed a broad plan to control false beneficiaries of social benefits, which stipulates, in particular, the tightening of residency conditions imposed on those who are eligible for these benefits, in a measure that mainly targets retirees living abroad.
Three weeks after it approved a plan to combat tax evasion, the Minister responsible for public accounts, Gabriel Atal, said that the government intends to “tighten” residency conditions in France “to benefit from social benefits.”
In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, he added that under the new plan, whoever benefits from family allowances or the minimum age limit will have to spend at least nine months in France annually, compared to six months now.
Atal explained that the government also wants to fight fraud by retirees living outside the borders of the European Union, noting that the Ministry of Finance wants to verify whether they receive their pensions according to the law, and to reveal those who died but their pensions are still sent to their accounts, unlike to the law.
The minister pointed out that there are more than a million retirees who receive their pensions outside France, half of them outside the European Union and more than half of those (300,000) in Algeria alone.
This step was decided in the wake of an experiment conducted since September in Algeria, during which the files of a thousand retirees close to 100 years old were checked, and as a result it was found that 300 of these files do not meet the requirements.
Atal explained that the ministry wants to expand this verification process to include retirees over the age of 85.
“Social fraud is like tax evasion, like a hidden tax imposed on working French people,” the minister stressed.
According to the French government, between 6 and 8 billion euros of social assistance funds go annually to those who are not eligible due to fraud.
In his interview with “Le Parisien”, the minister promised that before the end of President Emmanuel Macron’s term in early 2027, a thousand jobs would be created in the field of combating these frauds, indicating that the government also intends to invest one billion euros to develop information systems.