The French government is clamping down on social security fraud – which the Court of Audit says costs the country between 6 and 8 billion euros a year – rolling out plans to make it harder to get benefits while also hiking up penalties for those who cheat the system.
Public Accounts Minister Gabriel Attal unveiled the measures on Tuesday in an interview with daily newspaper Le Parisien, saying: “We need to take action, because social fraud, like tax fraud, is a form of hidden tax on French people who work.”
Top of the list are plans to make claiming benefits conditional on living in France for at least nine months per year, merging the Carte Vitale health card and the French ID card, cross-checking social security files with Interior Ministry files to stop benefits being paid to illegal immigrants, and ensuring that pensioners aged over 85 who live abroad are actually still alive.
“We are going to create a thousand extra posts over the next five years to combat social fraud and invest €1 billion in information systems, in particular to improve the cross-referencing of data,” Attal said.
“This is the first stage in a 10-year project. By 2027 we will have doubled our results.”
Despite assurances from Attal that ID cards, which French people over 18 are required to carry by law, would “automatically become” health care cards, BFMTV said officials at the Interior Ministry considered that such a merger would be technically impossible.
“This merger has apparently not been discussed within the government,” the TV channel reported, quoting an unnamed executive from the Interior Ministry.
“We have discovered that merging the french-property.com/guides/france/public-services/health/health-card”>Carte Vitale with the identity card is clearly technically impossible to implement, and the CNIL (data privacy watchdog) is deeply opposed to it,” the source said.
“We must be careful not to infringe data protection and individual freedoms.”
- Stacks of health care bills remain in limbo as Oregon lawmakers harden their stances in Salem
- New graphic images and health warnings could soon be coming to Australian cigarette packets
- Daily 20-Minute Walk Can Improve Heart Health for At-Risk Minorities
- World Digestive Health Day 2023: 4 daily habits to boost your gut health | Health
- Mental, The World’s First Mental Health App Created For Men