Sinn Féin

12/20/2016 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/20/2016 09:42

Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael Coalition block attempts to address Jobpath issues – Ó Clochartaigh

20 December, 2016 - by Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has criticised the de facto Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael Coalition, who with the support of some Independents blocked a Sinn Féin motion to address issues with the Jobpath scheme in the Seanad today.

Speaking from Leinster House, the Galway West - South Mayo Senator says:

'Sinn Féin tried to have issues with the Jobpath scheme, which are undermining the viability of other schemes such as Community Employment, addressed today and we called on the Minister for Social Protection to come to the Seanad to commit to an immediate review of this flawed and regressive scheme.

'I have had a huge number of complaints from people involved in CE who tell me that they cannot fill vacancies on schemes as the vast majority of eligible participants are being 'hoovered up' by the private companies that are operating Jobpath on a commission basis for the Department of Social Protection. Some people are convinced that the department is giving priority to Jobpath when issuing lists of potential participants.

'I have also had complaints from participants on Jobpath who are 'going nowhere' on that scheme and would prefer to be on a CE, or other social employment scheme, but cannot transfer.

'It is sickening to see the hypocrisy of these other political parties, whose spokespersons on the one hand go on the media condemning the scheme and the practices of the private companies Seetec and Turas Nua who are contracted to implement Jobpath, but then when we try and have the issues addressed in our parliament they block our efforts and support the government.

'Éamon Ó Cuív and Willie O'Dea have, like my party colleagues John Brady, Carol Nolan and others, called for an immediate review of the scheme. However, their Seanad colleagues opposed our attempts to move this forward today. Either Fianna Fáil have no coherent policy on this issue or they are, as has happened on many previous occasions, speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

'It's no good for the communities dependent on schemes such as CE and their dedicated participants, or for those wanting to join them who are tied up in an ineffective Jobpath programme, for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independents to be crying crocodile tears on issues like this. They need to stand up and represent these people who elected them in our parliament and cut out the hypocrisy when making public statements.'

Seasann Comhrialtas Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael i gcoinne iarrachtaí fadhbanna Jobpath a leigheas - Ó Clochartaigh

Tá cáaineadh déanta ag Seanadóir Shinn Féin Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, ar chomhrialtas feidhmeach FF/FG, a chuir bac sa Seanad inniu, le tacaíocht ó roinnt neamhspleáigh, air rún le Sinn Féin chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar dheacrachtaí a bhaineann leis an scéim Jobpath.

Ag labhairt do as Teach Laighean innu, deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar-Maigh Eo Theas:

'Rinne Sinn Féin iarracht aghaidh a thabhairt inniu ar dheacrachtaí a bhaineann leis an scéim Jobpath, atá ag cur cláracha eile ar nós na Scéimeanna Fostaíochta Pobail i mbaol agus d'iarr muid go dtiocfadh an tAire Coimirce Sóisialaí isteach sa Seanad chun deimhniú go ndéanfar athbhreithniú láithreach ar an gclár fabhtach, éagothrom seo.

'Tá ualach daoine a bhfuil baint acu le Scéimeanna Fostaíochta Pobail taréis gearán a dhéanamh liom mar nach féidir leo folúntais a líonadh ar a gcuid scéimeanna de bharr go bhfuil formhór mór na ndaoine a bheadh cáilithe chun páirt a ghlacadh dhá 'shlogadh suas' ag na comhlachtaí príobháideacha atá ag feidhmiú Jobpath ar bhunús coimisiún don Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí. Tá daoine áirithe diongbháilte go bhfuil an roinn ag tabhairt tosaíocht do Jobpath thar sceimeanna eile agus iad ag cur liostaí do dhaoine incháilithe ar fáil.

'Tá rannpháirtithe de chuid Jobpath ag clamhsán liom chomh maith nach bhfuil siad 'ag dul in aon áit' ar an scéim sin agus gur bhfearr leo aistriú go CE, nó a mhacasamhail de scéim fostaíochta pobail, ach níl cead acu athrú.

'Chuirfeadh fimínteacht na bpáirtithe polaitiúla eile seo múisiam ort. A gcuid urlabhraithe ar lámh amháin ag labhairt sna meáin ag cáineadh na scéime agus cleachtais na gcomhlachtaí priobháideacha Seetec agus Turas Nua a bhfuil conraí acu chun Jobpath a fheidhmiú, ach ar an lámh eile nuair a dhéanann muid iarracht díriu ar na ceisteanna seo sa bparliamint cuireann siad bac lenár gcuid iarrachtaí agus tacaíonn siad leis an Rialtas.

'Tá athbhreithniú láithreach ar an scéim iarrtha mar shampla ag leithéidí Éamon Ó Cuív agus Willie O'Dea, ach an oiread le mo chomhleacaithe páirtí féin John Brady, Carol Nolan agus daoine eile. Ach chur comhleacaithe leosan sa tSeanad inár gcoinne agus muid ag ardú na ceiste seo inniu. Anois, ar amhlaidh nach bhfuil aon pholasai soiléir ag Fianna Fáil ar an gceist seo, nó an é go bhfuil siad arís eile ag labhairt amach as an dá thaobh dá mbéil?

'Is beag an mhaith do phobail atá ag brath ar leithéad na scéimeanna fostaíochta pobail agus a gcuid oibrithe dílse, ná dóibh sin atá sáinnithe sa gclár mí-éifeachtach Jobpath, go mbeadh Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael agus Neamhspleáigh ag fuarchaoineacháin ar ábhair cosúil leis seo. Tá sé in am acu seasamh suas sa bparliamint don dream a thogh iad agus fimínteacht a gcuid ráitis phoiblí a chaitheamh in aeir.'