Gap in Community Service Staff Pay still not Addressed – Gallagher

Senator Robbie Gallagher says that the delay in allocating additional funding to Community Service Programmes (CSP’s) by the Government is not acceptable. The Department of Social Protection committed to providing the additional funding to help cover wage costs following an increase in the minimum wage.

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“Community Services Programmes, of which there are several in County Monaghan, play a vital role in providing local services and creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. The programmes rely on funding allocated by the Department of Social Protection. Unfortunately the Government failed to allocate additional funding following the increase in the minimum wage. This has led to increased financial strain for service providers.”“Fianna Fáil raised this issue last year and pointed out that additional funding would be needed to ensure service levels can be maintained following an increase in the minimum wage. The Department of Social Protection agreed to put arrangements in place to allow individual companies apply for additional funding to cover increased wage costs. However providers are still waiting to hear whether their application for additional funding has been successful.“It’s unfair and unacceptable that service providers are still waiting for their applications to be processed. Six months have now passed since the minimum wage was increased, and the Government knows that additional funding would be needed for CSP’s. Our Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea raised this issue with Minister Varadkar but the reply received did not outline when service providers can expect their applications to be processed.

“The Minister needs to clearly set out when service providers can expect a final outcome regarding their funding applications. It’s important that these essential services are adequately resourced,” concluded Senator Gallagher.

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