“It is the most important invoice of the Fifth Republic”, notes on franceinfo Thursday, October 14, René Dosière, former PS deputy for Aisne and president of the Observatory of public ethics. On Thursday, the Observatory of Public Ethics published a new report on the remuneration in the forty ministerial cabinets, which has been declining for three years. But the number of advisers has been on the rise since Jean Castex became Prime Minister. For the former elected, it is possible “to have smaller numbers” but it requires a “cultural revolution” within the French administration.
franceinfo: What do you see in this report?
René Dosière: There have been two different policies. At the start of the five-year term, we wanted to drastically reduce the number of ministerial advisers, and we realized that it was not working. And so, under Castex, we returned to traditional practices even if they remain inferior to the various governments of François Fillon. But here, for the first time, contract workers are in the majority compared to civil servants. They are mainly young activists. They get accustomed to politics by doing missions to elected officials, the press or others.
Are these well-paid missions?
Sure. Contractual workers are paid around 7,000 euros. The civil servants who manage the cabinets are much better paid with 9,300 euros on average. Added to this are cabinet allowances which are high. Over time, there is a trend of decreasing salaries in the practices, around 10% over the last three years. However, we are approaching 160 million euros per year. It is the most important invoice of the Fifth Republic. We still have to put things into perspective because it is not this budget that is driving France’s deficit.
Is it impossible to have smaller staff?
We can naturally have smaller numbers. But it is still necessary that the mode of operation of the cabinet change and that in particular the relationship between the administration and the cabinet change. When we already have competent senior civil servants in central administration, we do not need to have cabinet staff who will do the same work. But it is a cultural revolution for French firms.