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Crowe - Parents forced to drop out of VTOS courses as childcare support withdrawn

8 September, 2003

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has this morning been meeting with parents who may be forced to drop out of VTOS run back to work schemes, due to the Government's decision to remove childcare assistance from the courses. Deputy Crowe asked 'are the Government now so far removed from reality that they don't realise that removing childcare support will force many parents to drop out of these courses trapping them in a cycle of poverty.' He will be contacting the Department of Education to discuss the matter.

Deputy Crowe said:

"This morning I have been in touch with women in the Tallaght area who may be forced to drop out of back to work schemes because the Government removed childcare assistance from the courses in a shock decision last week.

"This decision follows on from serious cutbacks in CE schemes and FÁS moves to lay off workers on the Government-backed employment scheme, the Jobs Initiative.

"This highlights the complete contradiction that exists at the heart of government. On the one hand they are publicly saying that they are concerned at the numbers from disadvantaged backgrounds taking up higher education places, on the other hand they are attacking full time courses such as those run by VTOS, which are designed to help people back into education and into the workforce.

"If the government is serious about tackling disadvantage they need to completely reverse the direction that they are taking.

"It is time that they were honest and admitted that it is ordinary workers and the disadvantaged who are going to pay the price for ten years of mismanagement of public finances."ENDS

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