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Cuts to community and voluntary sector will hurt disadvantaged communities – O’Brien

12 October, 2011 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Jonathan O’Brien has today called on the government to stop the cuts to the community and voluntary sector.

He was speaking during a Sinn Féin private members’ motion which calls for protection for this sector which is so vital to communities across the state.

Deputy O’Brien said:

“As everyone in this House knows, the community and voluntary sector in this State plays a vital role in providing much needed and essential services which the State is unwilling or unable to provide.

“The sector works with the most disadvantaged in Irish society, trying to build a more cohesive and equal Ireland.

“And just as everyone in this House knows the valuable contribution the sector makes, they also know that the sector have been forced to absorb the severe cuts which recent budgets inflicted.

“As it stands all the indications are that the community and voluntary sector will again be facing further cuts in the upcoming budget.

“Organisations and workers have been forced to absorb these cuts through redundancies, 3 day weeks, pay cuts and service reductions.

“Speak to anyone involved in the sector and they will tell you that they have already crossed the point where these cuts have resulted in the loss of vital services and programme’s to some our most disadvantaged communities.

“The loss of services is having a huge impact on the very fabric of communities which are already trying to deal with the fallout of increasing unemployment, increased drug abuse and early school leavers.

“I am calling on the government to stand by their pre-election commitments, stand by the people and stop the cuts to the community and voluntary sector.”

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