Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1222)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

1222. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if a person (details supplied) can extend their participation on a community services programme after their 66th birthday; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14090/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

The CSP supports around 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model with funding provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions. This contribution must be co-funded by the organisations concerned from other sources, for example, from income received from the public use of their facilities and services.

CSP eligibility criteria currently preclude supported organisations, including the organisation in question, from using CSP funding to co-fund salaries of employees once they reach 66 years of age. That said, the internal operations of CSP supported organisations, including general employment issues relating to CSP supported posts, are solely matters for the boards of those organisations to manage as the respective employers. Accordingly, supported organisations may continue to employ persons once they reach their 66th birthday, but the funds to do so must come from a non-CSP source.

My Department has recently commenced a review of the CSP. There are no immediate plans to change programme criteria pending completion of this review. However, the review will inform decisions on the future shape of the programme, including inter alia programme funding arrangements and age related eligibility criteria. The review will take six months and should be completed in early Autumn 2019.