Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the unanimous passing by Donegal County Council of a Sinn Féin motion rejecting the Gateway Scheme.
Speaking this afternoon Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“I very much welcome the decision of Donegal County Council today to unanimously pass a Sinn Féin motion rejecting the exploitative Gateway Scheme.
“Just last week I made a public call on local authorities to reject the scheme so I am happy that Donegal started what I hope will be a state-wide response to Labour Minister Joan Burton’s attempt to force unemployed people into 22 months of hard labour for a measly €20 top-up to their dole payment.
“Gateway 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.
“More motions have been tabled by Sinn Féin Councillors for March's city and county council meetings urging them to reject this scheme and I urge them all to follow’s Donegal’s lead on this issue.”