South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the reduction in the capitation grants for Community Employment Schemes is a huge body blow to Communities which will result in the discontinuance of schemes.
Budget 2012 proposes the reduction of the Materials and Training Grant for CE Scheme participants from €1500 to €500, a cut of €1000 or 66% per participant on the schemes.
“This is a huge blow to CE Schemes; this money is used to pay for utilities, materials and training. If a CE Scheme has 10 participants, then they will be hit with a cut of €10,000 in their annual budget. That is absolute madness. These schemes are providing services and carrying out work that Government Departments and Local Authorities are not in a position to provide. They are providing these vital services at very little cost to the exchequer.” Said McGrath
Deputy McGrath complimented all those involved in CE Schemes throughout the Country. “They are enablers, our community drivers, they are keeping this Country going. They care for graveyards, provide meals on wheels and laundry services, visit the elderly, Community Alert Projects, Tidy Towns and provide drugs initiatives and so on. I could go on for days outlining the type of work they do.”
“This cut flies in the face of all plans to take people off the dole and back into some form of employment or training. These schemes are often the only chance for so many to get some form of work and they enjoy carrying out the work as they are serving their communities. It is absolute madness. So many of these schemes will be forced to close down as they will be running at a loss as a result of these cuts, so I am appealing to the Government to reverse this regressive measure for the good of our communities throughout the Country who will suffer dreadfully if it goes ahead.” concluded McGrath.