Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Employment Affairs & Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD has expressed his frustration at the ongoing delay in publishing a new social inclusion strategy.

Deputy O’Dea said, “I am growing increasingly frustrated with the delay in publishing a new social inclusion strategy. Back in November 2018, Minister Regina Doherty informed me that the government’s four-year plan covering the 2018-2021 period was at an “advanced stage”.

“In February 2019 I was then informed by the Minister that the Department was finalising a new social inclusion strategy with a proposed six-year timeframe covering the period 2019 – 2025 due to be published in Q2 2019. Following further questioning on this issue in May, Minister Doherty informed me that she intended to publish this strategy in June.

“It’s now almost October and the strategy is still not published. When questioned on it this week the Minister informed me that the new social inclusion strategy, Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2019-2025, is being finalised and that she expects that the new strategy will be published shortly.

“Unfortunately, given the ongoing delays in publishing this document I am sceptical that it will in fact be published any time soon.

“This is an important strategy, but the failure to publish it calls into question this government’s commitment to tackling poverty and social exclusion and assisting the most vulnerable in society.  Furthermore, the failure to publish a new social inclusion plan underscores that this government is very good at announcements but poor on delivery. Minister Doherty needs to stop kicking the can down the road and publish the new Roadmap for Social Inclusion as a matter of urgency”