Sinn Féin - On Your Side

€56m of European Globalisation Fund unspent – Doherty calls for inquiry

15 December, 2011 - by Pearse Doherty TD


New information obtained by Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has shown the gross mishandling of a €93.22 million EU fund for the retraining of redundant workers by the government and the Department of Education. According to the Donegal TD “a significant amount of this money will have to be returned to the EU as a result of maladministration by the minister and senior Department of Education officials.”

Deputy Doherty said:

“Four separate applications to the European Globalisation Fund have been approved by the EU commission providing a retraining fund of €93.22 million. 13,500 former workers in Dell, SR Technics, Waterford Crystal and the construction sector were to be provided with tailor made support programmes to get them back into work.

“The first three programmes have now closed and no more support can be given to those workers from the fund. The final programme for 9,000 former construction workers will close in under six months. In response to a parliamentary question the government has confirmed that to date €56 million has been unspent. As a result a significant amount of this money will have to be returned to the EU. This is due to gross maladministration by the minister and senior Department of Education officials. I am calling for an immediate independent inquiry into the maladministration of this programme

“€55 million was secured for 9,000 named redundant construction workers. The government claims that €22 million of this has been spent. However in reply to a parliamentary question the Government has now admitted than 18 months after making the application none of the 9,000 workers have been contacted. Indeed the Department of Education was not even able to confirm if it knows where these individuals live. How the government can claim that it has spent €22 million on people it has not contacted is beyond me.

“Even if the government’s claims were correct, this still leaves just 24 weeks to spend more than €33 million.

“Next week the government will present a report to the European Commission on the Dell element of this funding programme. The report is expected to reveal that in excess of €10 million will be returned to Brussels that should have been spent on retraining those workers who lost their jobs when Dell relocated from Limerick to Poland.

“It is clear that there is something very wrong with the way this programme has been run. Ruairí Quinn and Ciaran Cannon have been in charge now for nine months. They cannot blame their officials or the previous government for the mess. It is their responsibility.” ENDS


Uimhir:102

Ceist Pharlaiminte


Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the total amount of money returned
to or due to be returned to the european globalisation fund to date providing a
breakdown of moneys returned by EGF application; and if he will make a
statement on the matter.
- Pearse Doherty.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 14th December, 2011.
Reference Number: 40063/11

Freagra


Minister of State, Ciarán Cannon

The total funding allocations for the following EGF programmes in support of
eligible redundant workers in Ireland were as follows:

• Dell: €22.8m (of which the EGF maximum 65% contribution is €14.8m and the
national cofunded element is almost €8.0m)
• Waterford Crystal: €3.96m (EGF €2.57m, national €1.39m)
• SR Technics: €11.46m (EGF €7.45m, national €4.01m)

An EGF Final Report and Statement of Eligible Expenditure are required to be
submitted to the European Commission by the Irish authorities within 6 months
of the end of the EGF implementation period. The first such report is for the
Dell EGF programme and is due on 28 December 2011. It is only at that stage
that final certified expenditure is notified to the European Commission and any
unused funds identified where applicable.

The certification of final expenditure is ongoing and in this context, a number
of claims from service providers are currently awaited or are being processed.
As no EGF programme final report has yet been submitted to the EU, and no
financial expenditure statements have yet been completed, any final EGF funding
underspend has not yet been identified for these programmes.

To date, on the basis of claims processed, my Department has paid out the
following amounts on the three EGF programmes:

• Dell: €6.46m
• Waterford Crystal: €1.61m
• SR Technics: €1.30m

Whilst the final Dell programme expenditure certified is expected to double, it
is clear at this stage that final expenditure will be significantly less than
was originally expected could be used on that programme.


Uimhir:110, 111

Ceist Pharlaiminte


Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he or anyone acting on behalf
of his Department has written to or made contact with the 9,000 workers made
redundant in the NACE 41 Construction of Buildings, NACE 43 Specialised
Construction Activities and NACE 71 Architectural Services construction
sub-sectors between 1 July 2009 and 31 March 2010 and in whose name an
application was made to the european globalisation fund; and if he will make a
statement on the matter.
- Pearse Doherty.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a county by
county breakdown of the location of the 9,000 workers made redundant in the
NACE 41 Construction of Buildings, NACE 43 Specialised Construction Activities
and NACE 71 Architectural Services construction sub-sectors between 1 July 2009
and 31 March 2010 in whose name an application to the European globalisation
fund has been made; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
-Pearse Doherty.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 14th December, 2011.
Reference Number: 40109/11, 40111/11

Freagra


Minister of State, Ciarán Cannon

I propose to take questions 110 and 111 together.

The Deputy is referring to an application for funds under the European
Globalisation Fund made by the previous government for the purposes of helping
construction workers made redundant between July 2009 and March 2010.

A breakdown by county of former employment location of the redundant workers
included in the EGF applications for the NACE 41 Construction of Buildings,
NACE 43 Specialised Construction Activities and NACE 71 Architectural Services
construction sub-sectors is set out in the Annex.

My Department has not notified any of the identified redundant workers to date.
However, it is intended that letters notifying all persons who are eligible for
EGF co-financed assistance of a number of new supports being made available to
them will issue very shortly.


ANNEX

Employment County No. persons
Carlow 217
Cavan 169
Clare 152
Cork 1268
Donegal 162
Dublin 2661
Galway 430
Kerry 220
Kildare 429
Kilkenny 303
Laois 121
Leitrim 41
Limerick 369
Longford 43
Louth 163
Mayo 195
Meath 417
Monaghan 73
Offaly 65
Roscommon 77
Sligo 75
Tipperary 271
Waterford 336
Westmeath 135
Wexford 353
Wicklow 179
Outside Ireland 1

Connect with Sinn Féin