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Cuts to community and voluntary sector will cost as much as they will save – Cullinane

21 February, 2012

Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has said that the recent cuts to the community and voluntary sector will cost as much as they will save.

The Waterford Senator was speaking in the Seanad today following the launch of the ICTU report on changes in employment and services in the voluntary and community sector in Ireland.

Senator Cullinane said:

“This report highlights the damage that is likely to be done to the community and voluntary sector, and to communities all over the country, if recent cuts are not reversed.

“It is yet another example of this government being penny wise and pound foolish. In 2008 the community sector was to be estimated to be worth €6.5 billion to the Irish economy, three times the size of the State’s investment.

“Many services will cease to operate and the state will be forced to step in and provide them at what will more than likely be a greater cost.

“Many vital services will be hit. These are services in areas such as healthcare, Meals on Wheels and anti-Drugs schemes. It is utterly irresponsible for the State to remove these services from the communities that need them most.

“Some 11,000 people will lose their jobs because of these cuts. This will push many families closer to the brink of poverty and will take huge amounts of money out of local economies.

“These schemes play a crucial role in the creation and retention of jobs. Given the current jobs crisis, and the infrastructure that has been built up over twenty years in this area, the role that the community and voluntary sector provides has never been so crucial.

“These cuts are completely counterproductive and must be reversed.”

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