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Slashes proposed for family benefit

A report commissioned by the prime minister suggests quartering family allowance for better-off families

FAMILY allowance could be quartered for better-off families, suggests a report into savings in the family branch of social security.

A report by the president of government advisory body the Haut Conseil de la Famille that Le Figaro says it has seen, is reported to set this top level at anywhere between €5,856 per month for a family with two children to €10,215, depending on how much the government wants to save (respectively, €450 million or €1.5billion).

In order to avoid too sudden changes from one income level to another, the report suggests reducing family allowance euro by euro starting from a certain level, from €3885 (for the minimum savings) to €7,296.

It states that anything from 7% to 28% of households could be affected, again depending on how much the government wants to save from the measure.

Other possibilities for savings are also raised in the document, including new limits to the benefit prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant (which helps parents cope with the arrival of a new child) or lowering the maximum saving that can result from the application of the family quotient calculation to income for purposes of income tax.

The report was commissioned by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is trying to save €2billion by 2016 to reduce the family benefits deficit and free up more money to help those most in need. President Hollande said last week there was no question of high-earners continuing to have the same allowance as low-income families.

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