December 15, 2021
Minister must act on Dáil Motion passed to protect Local Employment Services & Job Clubs – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has written to Minister Humphreys urging her to act on the back of her party’s Dáil Motion passed in the Dáil two weeks ago.

The Motion called on the Government to protect the community based, not-for-profit employment services, suspend all plans to tender out Local Employment Services (LES) & Job Clubs, establish a Forum with representatives from both the LES and Job Clubs to examine both employment services and expand them under their current model.

Teachta Kerrane’s letter to Minister Humphreys comes on the back of her amendments to the Social Welfare Bill on the matter, which moves to Committee Stage in the Dáil tonight being ruled out of order therefore, removing any debate on the LES and Job Clubs tonight.

Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:

“I am disappointed that my amendments in relation to the LES & Job Clubs have been ruled out of order, therefore ensuring a further debate on the Minister’s plans to end these employment services will not take place tonight.

“Employment services are an incredibly important feature of our Social Protection system, particularly for so many recipients of social welfare schemes outlined in tonight’s Bill.

“The issue is also particularly timely, given the government’s intentions to dismantle our existing model of employment services.

“Two weeks ago, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil supported my Motion on protecting existing community based, not-for-profit employment services, despite making it clear that they still plan to sell these services off to the highest bidder.

“I have now written to Minister Humphreys to remind her what her party have supported in this Motion and I am again urging her to listen to the workers in the LES & Job Clubs, many who have given 25 years service, to the Trade Unions, the Oireachtas Committee Report and the recent report by the Public Accounts Committee. The Minister should also note that a number of her colleagues, Government colleagues and County Councillors, particularly from Fianna Fáil have been vocal on saving the LES and Job Clubs.

“Those who are supported by our Social Protection system, such as Family Carers, Lone Parents, Disabled People and those seeking work need to be able to access crucial walk-in and wrap around services.

“The Dáil Motion was passed. The Minister needs to listen and act.”

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