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La Prime d'Emploi Activité

The French tax office used to do a scheme where if you were in full time work, you would receive a benefit, a "prime" (say preem). For those on low wages, such as myself, the prime would usually offset the tax demand, so we'd end up in the interesting situation where my tax demand would carry a negative amount, and in time they'd send me a cheque. It wasn't for much, but I wasn't going to argue. It's better than a bill for hundreds of euros to be plucked out of the æther.
Well, this is changing. France is slowly entering into the modern world and having tax be paid on earnings at source. Yup, that thing British people refer to as P.A.Y.E. which has been going since 1944. As such, the benefit for low wage workers is being pushed off to the CAF - the Caisse d'Allocations Familialle - basically the Social Security office.

So I went and filled out a little on-line form that wouldn't take much time. What the hell? They didn't stop at asking invasive questions about me, they wanted to know all about my mother (as we live in the same house) right down to where she was born and who her parents were (were, past tense, deceased for a good few years now). I have to send them photocopies of both of our passports, medical coverage documents, my work contract, a payslip... and somebody will "study" my dossier.
I can't wait. The CAF are the ones that when I was on a benefit prior to finding employment, arbitrarily decided that I did not qualify for any benefit in December (the month of the Christmas bonus allocation) and sent a letter stating exactly that, no reason, no explanation. Then come January, I receive a letter stating that I qualified. But not retrospectively, mind you. Draw your own conclusions.
So, yeah. I can't wait to see how many objections are thrown up. Oh, we don't want this piece of paper we want that piece of paper. Oh, this is in English. Oh, we <blank as they can't even be bothered to think of an excuse>.
The various pages of the online form had all sorts of dire warnings that every declaration made will be confirmed with my tax declaration. Fine, you do that. Because what used to be simple (I've earned this much, my tax is this much, the rebate is this much) has now turned into a complicated procrastinated farce.
There was, sadly, nowhere on the online form to say I'm a low paid worker, this is something I'm supposed to be entitled to. Shut up asking about my mother and her mother, that's none of your damn business.


I'm cynical. I'm cynical enough to be concerned by the invasive nature of these questions and wonder if there isn't an undisclosed motive for asking for such information. Try to imagine the social category of "low paid (non-French?) workers" and the fact that living in a household with other people will require a full disclosure of every single one of them. Am I right to be cynical, or should we all be paranoid?



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VinceH, 27th January 2016, 19:08
If you think that's bad, you should see what you have to [ask your parents about and] disclose as part of the process of applying for a post at MI5.

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