Savage cuts of Materials & Training Grant threaten future of community employment schemes
Thursday 08 December 2011, 03pm
Lone parents & the disabled have again been dealt the harshest blow
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Mandate Trade Union has today said that the savage cuts to the Materials & Training grant will threaten the future viability of hundreds of Community Employment schemes across the country.
Mandate General Secretary John Douglas stated “Community Employment schemes employ thousands of people throughout the country; however, they are now in doubt following a savage 66% cut in funding which was announced in Budget 2012. The materials and training grants for schemes provide vital services in the community but have been slashed from €1500 per participant to just €500.
“These cuts are simply crippling to communities, particularly the already hard hit single parents and the disabled who are making the effort through these schemes to return to the workforce. Until now lone parents and the disabled could keep their allowance and be paid for 19.5 hours work carried out as part of their scheme. From next January new participants will not be able to retain their allowance, resulting in a loss to families of €210 per week.
Mr Douglas continued “The Government is hitting the most vulnerable in the Budget and the New Year will now see many people who were hoping to return to work through the Community Employment work and training schemes faced with some impossible choices.”
“Lone parents are also faced with having the amount they earn without reducing their social welfare entitlements cut from €146.50 to €130 with the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton also claiming that this figure will be reduced to €60 per week by 2016.”
Mr Douglas concluded “This Fine Gael / Labour Coalition Government have targeted the most vulnerable groups in the Budget and the savage cuts made to Community Employment Schemes will only add to their difficulties.”