The sharp reduction in expenditures of The National Employment Office (ONEM) in recent years cannot hide CPAS’s increase in costs, for social integration income in particular, two CEOs of Hainaut’s public social action centers write Monday. ONEM is breathing, but CPAS are fizzling, they said.
ONEM’s budgeted expenditures decreased by 30.8% from 2013-2019, but those for CPAS’s integration income rose by 57.9% in the same period, Ricardo Cherenti and Bernard Antony underline. “Even if we may rejoice over the entrance into employment of certain beneficiaries, it is clear that part of the unemployed that no longer benefit from unemployment income, end up in a CPAS,” they add.
Social aids granted by CPAS are also rising sharply, which leads to a transfer of social protection from federal solidarity to local solidarity, they analyze. Besides, the number of integration income beneficiaries aged under 25 has increased by 31.18% from 2013-2017, with an increase by 64.56% of students being covered by CPAS, they said.
General managers note “a slow but steady erosion” of the social security system. They are especially preoccupied by former ONEM recipients who no longer benefit from any social protection.
“Our society is becoming precarious, is losing its meaning, no longer has goals, feels disoriented and unstable,” CPAS general managers continue. “It no longer knows what to cling to, and, possibly, dresses in yellow vests, hoping to let their disillusionment be heard.”