Disability groups in France call for more action

New measures to ease the lives of the 12million disabled people in France have been welcomed but groups representing them say more can still be done.

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President Macron put forward the ideas, calling for a series of changes to be brought in by 2022, at the National Conference on Dis­a­bility to mark the 15th anniversary of the Loi Handicap.

Measures include a two-year target to help the 60,000 child-ren who he said could not get into education, and a helpline to assist with administrative procedures.

Disabled people’s group APF France handicap welcomed some of Mr Macron’s comments, especially as he said he planned to keep the AAH disability benefit separate from his planned new Revenu Universel d’Activité. This is eventually meant to replace many benefits, and is an area of concern.

However, it said more could be done, “particularly on professional training, pay, emotional and sexual life, and retirement”. The group said it was disappointed there was just passing mention of the problem of poverty of disabled people without constructive measures or new funding.

It called for protests in advance of the local elections.

Arnaud de Broca, of the Han­di­caps collective, said: “We wanted a call for action, which we got, but it is only words.

“Halfway through Mr Macron’s term, we have seen some change but it is far short of the earlier ambition.”