The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Local Government Brian Stanley TD has described the Gateway scheme as cheap labour for local authorities.
Deputy Stanley claimed that the scheme would only partly compensate for the thousands of local authority staff let go since 2011, and that the proposed payment scheme was degrading to those who will be forced to take part.
The Laois/Offaly TD was speaking during a debate on a Sinn Féin private members motion this evening.
“Minister Brendan Howlin was boasting not so long ago about having forced local authorities to make 25% of their staff redundant since 2011. We have seen the impact of those cuts in a serious running down of local services and that was underlined in the slow response in addressing problems caused by recent severe weather.
“I also believe that Gateway is demeaning to those who will be forced to take part. Any person in work is entitled to the proper wages and conditions for that job. Gateway is a complete violation of the trade union principle that workers doing the same job ought to be on the same rate of pay.
“I would imagine that a Labour Minister might have some respect for that principle but apparently no more than she does for any other alleged principle of the Labour Party.”