Thursday, 28 November 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Rural Social Scheme
254. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a decision has been made to move the rural social scheme from the responsibility of her Department to the Department of Rural and Community Development; if so, when the decision was made; when persons will be notified of the decision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49503/19]
In early 2019, the Government agreed to establish an Interdepartmental Group (IDG) to explore the most appropriate organisation arrangements - which included the Rural Social Scheme (RSS).
A series of meetings of the IDG have taken place and a number of bilateral meetings were undertaken with the relevant Departments which included discussions on the RSS. In addition to this, written submissions were received from key stakeholders and community groups. All submissions received were considered as part of the deliberation process. The final report of the IDG is expected to be available shortly.
The priority for my Department is to ensure that all employment programmes and incentives including RSS will be focused, targeted and suitable for the needs of low income farmers and fishermen into the future.