Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (313)

Colm Keaveney


313. Deputy Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Social Protection the current position of the rural social scheme; if she will provide details of the likely changes that may be made to the scheme in the coming year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12562/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The rural social scheme provides income support for farmers and those engaged in fishing who have an entitlement to specified social welfare payments. Participants are engaged for 19½ hours per week to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities. The scheme currently provides work opportunities for around 2,600 participants and 130 supervisory staff. The funds allocated for 2013 amount to €45.00m, which should enable the scheme to continue as in previous years but does not allow for the recruitment above the numbers stated above.

The Department of Social Protection has recently published a review of employment support schemes which, together with the outcome of the focused policy assessment of the RSS which the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has indicated it intends to conduct this year, will inform future policy developments of the scheme.