Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming can reveal that the government has implemented a cut of 44% in the number of lone parents on Community Employment (CE).

The information has been revealed in a reply to a Parliamentary Question to Minister Joan Burton. (see attached)

At the start of January 2012 there were 4,650 lone parents in Community Employment but as a direct result of budget changes implemented by Minister Burton, this has fallen to 2,591 as of January 21st 2013.  The Minister has forced 2,059 lone parents off Community Employment schemes in just one year.

Deputy Fleming commented: “Since Minister Burton decided lone parents would have to give up the One-Parent Family payment to remain on a CE scheme, there has been a massive but inevitable drop-off in the number of lone parent participants.

“Before Joan Burton set about deliberately excluding lone parents from Community Employment, 20% of CE participants were lone parents.  That figure now stands at just 11%.”

Deputy Fleming asked: “Is Minister Burton intent on driving every last lone parent off Community Employment?

“Many of these people would have been working on childcare and community projects which would improve their job prospects through training.  This is the worst attack on lone parents by a government which clearly has no vision for how social support structures should be working to help people to secure meaningful employment.” 


Question No: 388                                                                              Ref No: 2984-13

To the Minister for Social Protection

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of one parent family payment who are currently on community employment; the numbers at 31 December 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Sean Fleming.



Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D):

As of the 21st January 2013, there are 2,591 persons listed under the lone parent category on Community Employment (CE). At the 31st December, 2011, there were 4,650 persons listed under the lone parent category.

The overall number of places available under CE has been increased by 2,000 to 25,300 (including supervisors) in 2013 with a budget of circa €352m. The Department is committed to reforming CE to ensure value for money, progression of the job seeker and support for community services.