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Reinstate training and material grant for CE schemes – Ó Snodaigh

14 December, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in the Dáil this evening Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh called on Minister Joan Burton to reinstate the training and materials grant for Community Employment (CE) schemes which was cut in last week’s budget.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Minister Joan Burton’s comments, that her department will be in a position to fund schemes affected by this cut, expose the ridiculous nature of the 66% cut in the grant to all CE schemes. And I believe that she can’t stand over her comments that no CE schemes will close. Her cuts will result in closure.

“These schemes are a major plank in the government’s supposed activation agenda, but a cut of this size shows once again that the Labour Party doesn’t care about activation and would prefer to undermine the community sector support system that is maintained by CE workers.

“CE schemes cannot wait till another review is carried out to plan their service delivery for the year or their training plan for the participants. CE has been evaluated by FÁS ad nauseum, too much bureaucracy has surrounded the operation of the schemes to date, with much energy wasted in form filling which could otherwise be usefully used in helping communities and families in distress in need of the services such as community crèches.

“These services in many cases are no longer viable and they cannot be sustained on a drip feed of funds after they have been forced to go to the department with a begging bowl and see if they are favoured by the minister or not for a few crumbs.

“Reinstate the training and materials grant and, if you wish, evaluate the schemes and change, alter or even close those which are not functioning. I do not believe you will find many if any that aren’t delivering on the mission statements and if they aren’t it is usually not through fault of their own but due to cuts by the minister’s department or a related cut from the HSE or another department.” ENDS

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