Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Social Welfare Schemes

11:20 am

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister for the very positive response. In the standard reply she provided, she implied that the rural social scheme is an activation scheme to help people get employment. That is certainly not the way the scheme was designed. It was designed as a supplementary income scheme in return for a substantial contribution to services in local parishes up and down the country by small farmers to supplement their income. It has been very successful in that regard.

Until Joan Burton was appointed Minister for Social Protection, people on the rural social scheme were entitled to the full basic entitlement, in other words, there was no penalty for having a farm because by definition all participants had a farm. Now we expect people to work for 19.5 hours per week for the generous sum of €22.50. This is not an activation scheme but a work scheme. Does the Minister believe that a rate of just over €1 per hour is recompense for the high quality work being done by these workers? Will she also discuss this with me when we meet because I would like to discuss the idea behind the scheme? It was definitely not an activation scheme; it was a work scheme in return for an income.


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