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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/societe/sark...

by Maud Vergnol

Sarkozy: “Back to family values”

Translated Tuesday 21 February 2012, by Pauline Harrowell and reviewed by Derek Hanson

“We need to maintain the consensus on family policy,” argued Nicolas Sarkozy during his visit to the Tarn region on 6th February. Without mentioning him by name he went out of his way to attack the remarks made by François Hollande who raised the issue of the “quotient familial” [1].

“We’ve always made a distinction between family policy and social policy (….). The beauty of our family policy is that it doesn’t discriminate between children,” the head of state commented, appealing to the hard core of his electorate. In 2007 he had promised that universal child benefit would be paid from the first child onwards, which would have been very beneficial for single parent families. This plan was dropped when the UMP decided instead to “punish” school truancy by withholding child benefit.

Nursery school attendance –vitally important for working families – has dropped from 35% to 13.6% in less than two years as a result of the decision not to replace one out of every two public sector workers.

Although Nicolas Sarkozy had been expected to include gay marriage in his programme, he made no mention of this in his speech on family policy and completely ruled it out in his interview with the Figaro Magazine. A glaring error at a time when the Secretary of State for the Family, Claude Greff, went so far as to promote marriage as the way forward for the 32% of families living below the poverty threshold.

[1“Quotient familial” is a calculation allowing French families to reduce their income tax based on the number of children in the household.

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