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Community Employment cuts

Cutbacks in Community Employment (CE) were raised again in the Dail, this time by Sean Fleming (FF, Laois Offaly) (Dail Eireann, Debates, 8th May 2012, 459-461).  About 20% of the 8,200 workers in 1,288 community child care facilities were CE workers, or up to 2,000 and 70% of them were lone parents.  Since January, lone parents on CE schemes had to give up either their CE payment of €208 a week or their lone parent payment.  Many were now leaving or not applying for vacant posts.  Replying for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley assured him that the department was monitoring participation rates to identify any impacts of the change and although there was some evidence of a decline in participation rates, it was too early to say it it would continue. He quoted the statistics of the poverty rates among lone parents. 


Sean Fleming argued that the change had an immediate effect and the decline was continuing still.  He said he did not understand the minister’s logic that cutting their payments was the way to help them out of poverty.  The Minister of State pointed out that 2,200 of the 23,300 CE places were ring fenced, showing the high value put on them by government.