Dáil debates

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Gateway Scheme: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]


6:30 pm

Photo of Mick WallaceMick Wallace (Wexford, Independent) | Oireachtas source

The Gateway scheme is certainly workfare. The only choice individuals will be given is to either participate or risk having their social welfare payments reduced or cut off altogether. The Unite trade union has stated that the scheme may well place Ireland in breach of the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which relates to the right to freely choose one's work, and the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that no-one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour. Last week the Taoiseach was at pains to tell us that people love to do things for their communities. Of course they do. In the region of 50 people are involved with the Wexford Youths football team on a voluntary level. If I stated that I would give them €1 per hour for what they do and that they would be paid members as a result, I do not think many of them would stick around. These individuals take pride in being volunteers. People like to and take pleasure from contributing to their communities. However, informing people that they must do certain work for which they will be paid €20 per week in addition to their dole is an insult. How in God's name do those in government expect people to put up with that?

Andreas Fischer-Lescano, a professor of European law and politics at the University of Bremen, recently indicated that as a result of the way we have implemented antisocial austerity policies, placed financial stability above all other considerations and ignored social stability, we may be actually breaking the law.

This country is eager and interested in some laws being kept but not as interested in keeping others. Looking after those who most need the Government's help is no longer high on the agenda. This should be reversed. It is an insult to the people.


Christina Reynolds
Posted on 17 Nov 2014 5:06 pm (Report this comment)

I was recently employed on a CE scheme and was dismissed mid contract (with no warning) for querying my work being removed with no reason given together with a colleague who had just started a grievance procedure about the same thing. I tried to get answers from the sponsors, Dept of SW officer with responsibility for the scheme, her superior and lastly Joan Burtons office. Today I recieved a reply from Ms Burtons dept saying they have no legal right to intervene in this matter. None of they others were going to enquire into this matter either.

It is an absolute disgrace that CE scheme employees have no rights whatsoever with regard to employment law and that the Management committees and assistant Supervisor of the scheme I was on can carry on as they please and treat employees with the utmost contempt. Could you ask Joan Burton why there is no redress for employees who have a complaint? At least under FAS there was some chance of getting your complaint listened to.

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