Elisabeth Borne explained this Thursday evening on the meaning of the pension reform, while the opposition is growing against the government’s project. Questioned for nearly an hour by journalist Caroline Roux on the program “L’Événement” (France 2), the Prime Minister wanted to “continue to explain this reform”, “not simple”, but “essential” according to her “to collectively save the pay-as-you-go pension system”, which notably pushes back the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old.
At the forefront of this reform, the Prime Minister’s confidence rating has reached a low since her appointment at 23% (-4 points), according to an Elabe poll carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday. After a record mobilization on Tuesday, with between 1.2 and 2.7 million people in the street, which will be followed by two new days of action next week, Elisabeth Borne said she “heard this concern”. “I measure what this effort represents for many French people,” she insisted, assuring that her “responsibility” was to “tell the truth”: “Our system is not balanced. Without this reform, she asserted, “the deficits will widen”.
To explain the reason for the project, Elisabeth Borne highlighted “a demographic reality”. “In the 1970s we had three assets for one retiree, at the beginning of the 2000s, we had two assets for one retiree and today we are at 1.7 and tomorrow we will continue to have fewer assets to finance the pensions,” she said. “Our system is in deficit and therefore its future is threatened. Retirement expenses are not exploding but the revenues are not there. »
“This reform protects women”
The government’s project has raised the question of its impact on women. Asked about this this Thursday evening, Elisabeth Borne said that the reform “protected” women. “The women will leave earlier. Women have 30% lower pensions than men. One in three women is affected. In ten years, the gap will be reduced, it will drop from 30 to 20%. Obviously, we must aim for equality, ”she said on France 2.
Last week, the Minister for Relations with Parliament Franck Riester told him that women were “a little more impacted” by this reform. “Until now, women retired later than men. Tomorrow, they will leave earlier than the men. In the past, women had interrupted careers. More and more, they can reconcile motherhood and their professional life, “said the Prime Minister this Thursday evening.
“We are one of six out of ten French women who will have to work longer,” she admitted, however, in the face of Caroline Roux. “You like me, indeed, we will have to leave later”, but “we are not damaged by work”.
“No longer depriving ourselves of the skills of seniors”
The reform provides for the creation of a “senior index” to better understand the place of employees at the end of their career, and thus promote good practices and denounce bad ones. A measure rejected by the Medef. “We must go even further! declared this Thursday evening the Prime Minister, saying that she was in favor of “sanctions” against companies that would have “bad practices” and would not implement “an action plan” to correct them. “We have to think about how we encourage hiring seniors. Now is the time to stop depriving ourselves of the skills of seniors. »
Asked about a possible 49.3, Elisabeth Borne indicated that she “did not envisage the hypothesis” of recourse to this article of the Constitution which allows the adoption of a text without a vote except for a motion of censure. “I am looking for compromises on this text as on all those that I present to Parliament”, replied on France 2 the Prime Minister, while the government does not have an absolute majority in the National Assembly, and has already used ten times on 49.3 for the adoption of budgetary texts.
A little earlier in the day, Elisabeth Borne had received the “unambiguous” support of Édouard Philippe, leader of the allied party Horizons. Accused of not supporting the executive enough, this supporter of a postponement of the starting age to 65, 66 or even 67 years old, sees his group sow confusion, some deputies threatening to vote against or abstain.