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Ó Snodaigh warns against social welfare cuts for CE scheme participants

20 August, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has written to Minister Eamon Ó Ciúv and urged him to reconsider plans to remove social welfare benefits for single parents and disabled people who are participating in Community Employment (CE) schemes.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh has also written to the Chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Social Protection and asked him to urge the Committee to invite representatives of the ‘Your Right – Your Fight’ Campaign to brief members on the implications of such cuts.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“For those affected these cuts would make participation in CE impossible. It would therefore act as a further barrier to training and meaningful work for these groups and given the current jobs market would result in a return to indefinite welfare dependency.

“The cuts proposal has clearly emanated from a number crunching exercise which patently failed to take account of the value of CE to individual participants and to communities.

“If these cuts were to go ahead up to 7,000 people from groups that traditionally experience significant barriers to employment would be forced to walk away from CE. And the community infrastructure which depends on these people would suffer gravely as a consequence.

“Community child care in particular would be hit very badly by such a move which would have a knock on effect on the employment opportunities of thousands more people.

“Given the shamefully high level of unemployment, emigration and the growing reliance of so many people on the community sector for a wide range of supports I believe it would be timely for the government to look at the role of CE as something much greater than a labour market activation measure but rather as something hugely valuable in and of itself.” ENDS

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