The Minister for Social Protection has confirmed to Local Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, that a review of CE and TUS Schemes is now complete and that he will bring a Memorandum to Government on these schemes in the coming weeks.
Deputy O’Rourke said, “There are many advantages to these schemes, however the TUS scheme, in particular, needs to reflect the needs of the individuals and the community rather than getting tied up with regulations and red tape.
“Earlier this year, I met with Minister Varadkar, and made representations to him to have the TUS scheme more flexible and not be as timebound as it was. Those involved in TUS schemes in Clane, Donadea, Leixlip and Celbridge had met me to discuss the problems associated with the way the TUS scheme is currently structured.
“I followed up a few weeks ago with a parliamentary question on the issue and my colleague Deputy James Lawless raised the issue with the Minister last week under the order of business.’
“At the time in May, the Minister did agree with me that the TUS scheme was restrictive. I proposed that we have a twin track approach to schemes, one CE scheme framed around returning to full time employment and the TUS scheme focussed on community and societal gain, without having an expiry date.
“The schemes should be about function, and what the scheme is for, rather than about for how long someone should be on the scheme. We should be able to ensure that anybody willing and eligible to participate in a TUS community scheme, should be allowed participate in the scheme on a more open bend basis.
“Many communities groups and individuals have benefited from the TUS scheme in the Kildare area. But after 12 months, the person had to leave the scheme. This was too restrictive.
“I am hopeful that the review will propose a twin track approach to securing the fit for purpose schemes, which will enable those on TUS schemes contribute to the community on a more open ended basis rather than on the current restrictive timeframe basis.’ concluded Deputy O’Rourke.