Funding for schemes such as the Rural Social Scheme and Tús are in danger of being slashed under the new funding model being proposed by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte who accused Minister Doherty of aiming to "cut the schemes without fully considering the benefit that these programmes have on their local communities”. She said she was "very worried" that Minister Doherty is favouring Jobpath over schemes such as the RSS and Tús.
Dep Rabbitte is calling for the Minister to reexamine the issue, saying such schemes provide numerous benefits to towns and villages in rural Ireland. "While primarily they exist to get people back to work," sher said, "there is a huge social inclusion element contained within them."
The TD recently met community groups from Tipperary, Mayo, Limerick, and Galway to discuss concerns over the proposed cuts. She has also called for the one year participation limit for the Tús programme to be extended to a minimum of two years. Tús specifically targets people who are long term unemployed. "Many of the participants," Dep Rabbitte said, "may need more than one year to feel fully ready to re-enter the workplace."