I thank the Deputy for the question. I presume she is referring to the community services programme which supports more than 400 community organisations in providing local services through a social enterprise model. CSP funding is provided as a fixed annual contribution towards the cost of an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions, including a manager, where warranted. A total of €32,000 per annum is provided towards the cost of the manager position, while €19,033 per annum is provided towards the cost of each full-time equivalent position. The CSP contribution is not aligned with the national minimum wage and does not meet the full salary cost of supported posts. It is a fixed annual contribution that must be co-funded by the organisations concerned from other sources, for example, income generated from the use of facilities and services provided. Supported organisations are obliged under the CSP to pay employees at least the national minimum wage.
Indecon Consultants is carrying out an independent review of the CSP programme on behalf of my Department and the review is nearing completion. It will examine, among other things, the programme's qualifying criteria and income generation requirements. It will help to inform decisions on the future shape and structure of the programme. In the meantime, the Department has provided over €1 million in additional support this year under the CSP support fund to help to address the financial challenges faced by many of the smaller CSP-supported organisations that struggle to pay employees the national minimum wage. The additional contribution paid under the fund was increased from €350 per full-time equivalent in 2018 to €1,100 in 2019.