Fine Gael social protection spokesperson Michael Ring TD has described Minister Eamon Ó Cuív’s training proposals as a bitter disappointment for the thousands of people on the live register who are still waiting for decent training and education opportunities.
Deputy Ring was speaking after Minister Ó Cuív announced plans to transfer the Community Services Programme and the Rural Social Scheme into the Department of Social Protection.
“Fine Gael has long been calling for activation measures to help people off social welfare and into education or paid employment,” Dep Ring said. “But this initiative from the Minister offers little that is new. And his vague promise of 10,000 places is a drop in the ocean compared to the 450,000 people on the live register, with thousands emigrating for work.
“I welcome the Minister’s move to consolidate these two programmes in a single Government department. But these schemes are not tailored for the jobs market. The Minister is over-egging his cake by selling them as ‘work opportunities’.
“And above all, there are no new jobs. Fianna Fáil and the Greens have flunked the challenge to set up a job creation strategy to get Ireland working again.”