Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has said the recruitment process for the Rural Social Scheme needs to be accelerated in a bid to tackle the low level of take up in relation to the Rural Social Scheme.

“There has been a very low level of take up on the expansion of the Rural Social Scheme- the scheme was expanded to include a total of 3,350 participants and at the time of that announcement there were 2,948 people on the scheme but since then the levels of take up have been considerably low.

“A PQ reply to our Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Regional Development & Rural Affairs shows that the number of people on the Rural Social Scheme has only increased by 22 participants to 2,970 since March. This means that there are still 380 places available on the Rural Social Scheme- and this is despite the fact that there are nearly 7,000 people receiving Farm Assist.

“The figures show that there are 25 places still to be filled on the Rural Social Scheme in the Galway Rural Development Co Ltd while there are 19 places still available on the Roscommon Integrated Dev Co Ltd, 16 places on RSS through Leitrim Integrated Dev Co Ltd and four through Westmeath Community Development Ltd.

“I am calling on the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to accelerate recruitment to the Rural Social Scheme so that people can begin undertaking this important work,” concluded Deputy Murphy.