Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection, has called on Local Authorities to reject the implementation of the exploitative Gateway Schemes.
Commenting on the news today that the minister is going ahead with a scheme that will force more than 3.000 jobseekers to start work (800 in Dublin) in local authorities for €20, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Gateway is compulsory and entails 22 months of hard labour for a measly €20 top-up. It is the equivalent of workfare. It will not enhance the employability of participants as there is no quality training involved and there is a recruitment embargo in place on local authorities.
“Gateway punishes people for being unemployed and copper-fastens the under-staffing of essential local services.
“This scheme is similar to JobBridge, another failed government initiative that exploits welfare recipients with little hope of gainful long-term employment or the enhancement of skill sets. It is more to do with massaging the unemployment figures than being a genuine back to work initiative.
“It is entirely unacceptable that the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has not dedicated more resources towards the sustainable, mutually beneficial and long term employment of those who have found themselves unemployed since the collapse of the economy.
“Motions have been tabled by Sinn Féin councillors for March's city and county council meetings urging them to stop their local authorities abusing the long-term unemployed as the Labour Party Minister Joan Burton wants them too."