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Appeal to extend Community Employment

John O’Mahony (FG, Mayo) spoke on an adjournment debate on the importance of extending the scheme of community employment (Dail Eireann, Debates, 16th June 2011, 692-4).  There was an urgent need to increase its numbers, currently 22,500, due to the economic crisis.  During the 1980s, there were 44,000 people on Community Employment (CE).  It was a cost effective scheme, because the overheads were already paid for and it cost only €20 a week more than the dole.  The scheme should also be extended to under 25s, who comprise the largest proportion of the unemployed.

Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Brian Hayes told him that the Minister for Social Protection would in the coming months consider afresh a number of aspects of the operation of these schemes.  The numbers on the scheme were now 23,000 and while there were no immediate plans to alter the current criteria for participation on CE or the numbers, the minister would take stock of its operation to see what improvements were necessary.