Fianna Fáil candidate for Wicklow, councillor Jennifer Cuffe has reiterated concerns about the ability of the Community Service Programme to pay the increased minimum wage rates. Following concerns raised by Fianna Fáil, the Department has agreed to put arrangements in place to assess individual companies’ applications for additional resources; however concerns remain that not all of these companies will receive approval.
Councillor Cuffe commented, “Community Service Programmes are hugely important, especially to rural communities. These programmes provide employment and important services across a range of areas including day care centres, transport services and social activities for the elderly. I am extremely concerned that important services could be put in jeopardy if these CSP companies are not granted the additional funding to ensure that they have the resources to pay these increased costs.
“As a result of the Government’s failure to implement blanket funding approval for these programmes, many CSP companies are now facing an uncertain future It is causing major distress to workers and service users alike.
“The Department of Social Protection must clarify the situation for CSP companies. The Minister needs to outline how these companies will be assessed without delay so that they know where they stand. It is deeply unfair that they were put in this position in the first place”.