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Community employment schemes safe until March, Burton pledges

The Minister has confirmed that the schemes will not be closed – at least for the first three months of 2012.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

COMMUNITY EMPLOYMENT SCHEMES will not be forced to close by funding cuts for the next three months, the Minister of Social Protection has pledged.

Joan Burton made the commitment in a meeting yesterday with a delegation from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Union officials had aimed to highlight the impact any closures would have on local communities.

It was confirmed following last year’s Budget that all such schemes would be subject to financial review by Government officials, sparking fears that many could be closed.

The Minister said at the time that “schemes which provide value for money and a quality experience [...] do not have anything to fear” from the review.

But Burton told the ICTU delegation yesterday that there would be no closures until the review had been completed in the coming months.

Siptu spokesperson David Connolly, who attended the meeting, said: “At the meeting the Minister directly heard the concerns that have arisen among CE scheme participants and managers due to the proposed cutbacks. She agreed on immediate actions aimed at introducing stability and calm to the sector.”

More: All community employment schemes under review, Minister confirms>

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Michael Freeman

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