Every week, Economic alternatives selects you the best graphics. On the menu of this graphorama, the various exposure of European households to inflation, the rise of online sports betting, the fall in housing benefits, the uncertainties about gas reserves and the number of prisoners who beat records in France.
1/ In Europe, poor households pay a high price for inflation
We are not all equal in the face of the current surge in inflation, confirms a recent study by the ECB. Four of its experts have calculated the inflation differential experienced by the poorest 20% of the population (1is quintile) and by the richest 20% (5e quintile), in the euro area as a whole. Result: after remaining low for 10 years, oscillating between -0.25 and +0.25 points, this differential soared from December 2021 to reach 1is September 2022 the record high of 1.9 points.
The main reason for this gap is due to the difference in the structure of household expenditure in these two groups: the poorest, because of their lower incomes, devote a larger share of their disposable income to food and energy expenditure, which are the items where inflation has been the highest, due to the health crisis and the war in Ukraine. The authors of the survey point out that these households have very little savings: in July 2022, 14% of households in the first quintile said they feared not being able to pay their bills on time, compared to 4% of households in the bottom quintile.
2/ Online games: the rise of sports betting
“Big bet, big loss, big hassle”. In Seine-Saint-Denis, the Departmental Council this week launched a campaign to raise awareness among young people of the risks of sports betting, which generated nearly 1.3 billion euros in losses among the French in 2021.
At the same time, the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Trends (OFDT) published the results of the E-Games survey, which confirms in particular that sports and e-sports related bets are one of the driving forces behind the rapid development online games, especially since the health crisis. In 2021, the National Gaming Authority counted no less than 5.4 million active player accounts with licensed operators, an increase of 11% compared to the previous year. And that’s not counting e-sport, which is spiraling out of control.
Half of the players surveyed say they have made at least one sports bet in the last 12 months, and 33% have bet on e-sport. Proportions approximately 1.6 times and 8 times greater than indicated by a 2017 survey, the methodology of which was not, however, exactly the same. The rise of e-sport betting is largely among young players, and in the most total illegality: there is no legal gambling operator for this sector in France.
Even more worrying, daily gamblers, on average younger, are more exposed to the development of dangerous and addictive practices. Using the Canadian Excessive Gambling Index (ICJE), the OFDT estimates that 63% of daily gamblers are concerned by excessive risk (obsession with gambling, increased bets, lies, etc.), compared to 33% for the other players. This finding encourages us to review the framework for these practices and their operators.
3/ Dormant housing benefits
Never since 1991 has France made as little effort for housing as in 2021. Yes, you read that right!
The figures from the latest housing accounts show this: housing aid (aid for construction + for people) reached a low point last year at 1.5% of GDP, whereas eleven years earlier this proportion was 2.2%. ” In other words, if we made the same effort as in 2010, we would have 15 billion more housing aid than today » calculated Manuel Domerguethe director of studies at the Abbé Pierre Foundation (and former journalist at Economic Alternatives).
Among the items that suffered the most: housing allowances (the contemporaneization of APLs implemented in 2021 lowered their cost by 5.7%) and social housing, which was ever less subsidized under the Macron era. Added to this, in particular, is a decrease in expenses related to zero-interest loans (PTZ) due to the fall in interest rates charged by banks.
Admittedly, these aids are not relevant and virtuous by nature. But such a decline in public intervention calls into question the consistency of the government’s social action and, more generally, the way in which it prepares for the future, especially in a period of high inflation and when construction remains at historically low levels. .
4/ Gas reserves: it’s going to be hot!
It’s the sword of Damocles hanging over Europe: will gas reserves be sufficient this winter? In a report detailing its outlook for winter gas supply, the European Network of Gas Transmission System Operators (Entsog) gives some answers.
Entsog is studying several scenarios. In the case of a reference winter – as happens every two years on average – gas reserves would be sufficient to meet demand, even if the current supply constraints would not reduce the risk of restriction to zero. occasional on days of peak demand.
On the other hand, in the event of a harsh winter – as happens every 20 years on average – European countries would be exposed to a risk of seeing 10% of their gas demand not satisfied over the winter, and up to 27% of their demand during peak consumption days.
Above all, Entsog added a hypothesis: what would happen if Russia cut off all gas supplies to Europe? The curves above show the evolution of European gas reserves under this assumption. In the event of a harsh winter, the risk of a supply disruption would lead most European countries to a risk of seeing 20 to 30% of their demand not satisfied on a day of peak demand.
Reserves could also fall to zero in April if no moderation in demand occurs. A 15% moderation in demand would make it possible to divide by two to three the risk of seeing the demand for gas not satisfied. Playable ?
5/ French prisons (again) full to bursting
Back to abnormal? After the wise decision was taken to release prisoners with a vengeance at the time of the health crisis, incarceration has resumed with renewed vigor in France and has just reached a new record of 72,350 people detained in the 1is October 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Justice. The number of places tending to stagnate, the French prison suffers from overcrowding, and the prison density (number of prisoners compared to operational capacities) stands at 119%.
We continue to incarcerate ever more and for longer and longer sentences, and we do not make enough use of alternative sentences. Also, the number of detainees forced to sleep on a mattress on the floor, recorded during the day, reached 2,053 people, or 39% more than a year ago.
However, the law of 1875 affirms the principle of individual confinement. But has been subject to multiple moratoriums. Also, only 41% of prisoners benefit from an individual cell. 20,000 people are incarcerated in 57 prisons with an occupancy rate exceeding 150% of their capacity. Three establishments show a rate of more than 200%: Carcassonne (220%), Nîmes (215%) and Bordeaux-Gradignan (208%). It is difficult in these conditions to fight against suicide, to ease tensions between prisoners and guards and to prepare for reintegration after release.