Dáil Éireann - Volume 450 - 09 March, 1995

Written Answers. - Community Employment Schemes.

125. Mr. Hyland asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment if his attention has been drawn to the threatened disruption of community development projects and employment resulting from a projected shortfall in funding for FÁS employment schemes, with particular reference to the termination of existing schemes prior to the recommencement of new schemes and the restriction in relation to the eligibility of applicants for new schemes; and if he will ensure that sufficient funding is made available to ensure the continuation of existing schemes and the commencement of new projects. [5304/95]

Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): The 1995 abridged Estimates included an Exchequer allocation of £221.395 million for community employment, which with EC funding of £11 million approximately, resulted in a total provision of £232.3 million for the programme in 1995. This would have provided for an average participation level of 35,000 throughout 1995 with an end-year participation level of around 26,000. However, in the context of the budget I secured additional Exchequer funding of £23.2 million, taking total funding for the year to approximately £255.7 million. This level of funding will provide an [985] average participation level of 38,500 on community employment (CE) throughout the year, with an end-year participation level of 35,000.

Although the average participation on the programme during 1994 was 30,960, there were around 40,000 on the programme at the end of the year. FÁS has been requested to manage the necessary reduction to an end-1995 level of 35,000 as sensitively as possible and with as little disruption as possible to its programme of existing or new projects.