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Council must rethink fortnightly community employment payments- Cllr Jonathan Graham

9 January, 2015

Sinn Féin Clondalkin Councillor Jonathan Graham has called on South Dublin County Council management to “rethink a decision to pay over 200 Community Employment scheme participants and supervisors fortnightly rather than weekly from January 22.” Cllr Graham said that “The decision has been made without the consent of those affected and given the low level of payments will create real difficulties in terms of people managing their finances.”

Cllr Graham said:

‘At present over 200 people participate in community employment schemes supervised by South Dublin County Council.

‘The participants are paid €208 weekly. As of January 22 the Council will make these payments fortnightly.

‘For people trying to cope on small incomes weekly payments makes financial management easier. 

‘However the sole reason for the council shifting to fortnightly payments is to reduce administrative costs.

‘Not only is this decision bad for the participants and supervisors, it may also be against Department of Social Protection’s own rules for CE scheme.

‘In the Community Employment Procedures Manuel published by the Department of Social Protection in September last year it indicated that the frequency of payments can be changed, but only with the permission of the Department and the CE participant.

‘Unfortunately the council management took this decision unilaterally.  This is deeply unfair. 

‘Sinn Fein will be raising this matter both at Council level and with the Minister for Social Protection. We are calling on the Council to withdraw the unilateral decision and only proceed with fortnightly payments where participants and supervisors consent to it.’ 

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