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Community Employment Schemes under threat: Sinn Féin

4 February, 2012 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD


Community Employment Schemes under threat: Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, has said that Community Employment Schemes provide essential services and should be protected against budget cuts. She was speaking in Dublin today, as she issued the text of the party’s motion on the issue, which will be proposed in the Dáil during Private Members’ time on Tuesday and Wednesday next.

“CE Schemes are threatened with a massive 66% cut in their training and education grants, which means many schemes will not be able to function.

Community Employment Schemes are not just about jobs, they provide essential services to communities too.

“Community-based drug rehabilitation, after-schools clubs, community networks, resource centres and the Alzheimer's Society home support services are all dependent on CE workers.

“ Sinn Féin will propose a motion to protect these schemes during Private Members’ time in the Dáil next Tuesday and Wednesday,” she said.

“These services are important to our communities. The public and private sectors cannot or will not provide these services. This is a callous cut as it affects the public and the participants on the schemes who are meant to benefit from training and education.

“CE Schemes were set up to provide support and training for the long-term unemployed and more than ever we need investment in CE schemes,” she added.

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Full text of motion to be proposed by Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley TD, (Laois Offaly) spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government.

Private Members’ Business

That the Dáil:

•         Calls on the government to immediately reverse the cut of 66% to the CE Schemes training and materials budget and to immediately reinstate the training and materials budget to 2011 levels;

•         Notes that the proposed Department of Social Protection review is creating confusion and frustration;

•         Notes that these budget cuts will affect some of the most vulnerable in our society and will force CE Schemes to close;

•         Recognises the essential services provided to the public by CE Schemes and their participants;

•         Recognises the important role CE Schemes play in providing training to long term unemployed;

•         Recognises the key role Special CE Schemes play in providing community-based drug rehabilitation;

•         Acknowledges the important role CE Schemes have played in providing childcare facilities and assisting people back into education;

•         Condemns the abolishment of concurrent payments and the CE qualified child increase paid to lone parents on CE;

•         Notes that these cuts make participation on CE unaffordable for most lone parents thereby threatening the community childcare infrastructure and calls on the government to reverse these cuts;

•         Recognises the important role CE Schemes have played in providing training and education to Lone Parents; and

•         Calls on the government to engage fully with CE Schemes and their representatives with the view to extending the CE Schemes by increasing numbers of CE places available, including Special CE Schemes and enhancing the training available to participants.

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