RSA: Proposal for new eligibility criteria

Foreigners will no longer be able to receive the family solidarity income.






"To fight against the social tourism that is materializing on our territory" is the objective of the majority who wish to modify the eligibility conditions for the RSA for foreigners residing in their territory. As a matter of fact, the majority has proposed for example that only those from a European Union Member State can be eligible. And that those who have a residence permit to work in France may now be entitled to possess it for ten years and no longer five years. This measure applies to Non-European single parents.

Ramona Connor, the vice-president in charge of the dossier, justified this measure by the prohibitive cost that the RSA represents to Saint-Martin; 17 million euros have been budgeted in 2016. "Immigrant populations who receive the RSA weigh heavily on the finances of the Collectivité," she said during the debate without, however, specifying the number of persons concerned. And she regretted that the RSA benefits have "no impact on the economy" of the French side. "We know very well that there is a currency leakage," Ramona Connor pointed out.

The debate between the elected officials is more focused on form that on substance. Indeed, all the elected officials, from both the majority and the opposition, agree to say that a reform of this social benefit must be carried out given the amount of expenditures which it represents for the Collectivité. However, Daniel Gibbs disagrees with the "method" and believes that it is discriminatory. In the medium or even long term, he is afraid of the serious consequences of such a decision, such as a condemnation of the Collectivité by the European Court of Human Rights.

Furthermore, the Daniel Gibbs and Jules Charville Team (as well as the CESC which was asked to express an opinion) pointed out that a national reform concerning RSA payments has been carried out. For several months, many departments have declared that they are no longer able to pay the RSA and Manual Valls said that the State could provide them with aid. This is why the opposition suggested that the Collectivité should wait before taking this measure.

All of the elected officials from the majority voted for this measure with the exception of the territorial advisor Antero de Jesus Santos Paulino. The five members from the opposition as well as Jules Charville also abstained.

The measure will come into force on 1 September and will apply on benefits for the month of August.


Estelle Gasnet