National Union of Activists for People who Live Alone: doesn’t that sound great? It sounds even better in French: Union Nationale des Groupes d’Action des Personnes qui Vivent Seules (UNAGRAPS). And it’s for real!
Even if you don’t read French, visit the website for the charming graphics of activists holding banners that say roughly “solo = more expensive,” “fighting for ourselves together,” etc.
UNAGRAPS has 10 local chapters, in all corners of France. It tackles issues of taxation, social security and retirement, succession rights, and some leisure costs like the single supplement. It demands recognition of solo singles as an interest group (apparently not a dirty word in Europe), and won interest group registration under the European Union in August 2009.
As Ulla Anderson, UNAGRAPS’s President, emailed me in English (several communications excerpted and compiled here):
Our pursuit pertains to the difference between single without children (one person household) and married people without children.
French tax is calculated according to number of persons in a household. A one person household has one “part”; a couple without children has two parts. In a majority of situations this leads to higher tax for the single person than for each member of the couple.
It is widely accepted that the French system is particularly unfavourable for single persons as most countries tax couples separately.
[Nonetheless, in] Europe there are [similar singles' rights] associations in … Norway, Finland and Holland. There may be more that I haven’t found yet.
We recently read about singles rights organizations in India. We’re often asked if there are any in Canada, but we haven’t found one. Do you know any other international (or U.S.) organizations working to make laws and economics more fair for singles and unmarried households? Please click Comments to help us get connected!