Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (525)

Éamon Ó Cuív


525. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Social Protection if persons participating on a community employment scheme or due to commence a scheme can be self-employed in any capacity, not necessarily in fishing or farming; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7391/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

On clarification with the Deputy, the question refers to the continuing eligibility of a person to participate on the Rural Social Scheme (RSS), in the event that they secure periodic or seasonal employment, supplementary to their primary employment of farming or fishing.

The RSS is a supplementary income support scheme providing part-time employment opportunities for farmers or fishermen/fisherwomen within their local area in community and voluntary organisations. It is designed specifically for those participants whose income falls below a certain limit, and who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments.

Participants on RSS are permitted to undertake part time work and remain on the scheme, provided that it does not interfere with their farming, fishing or RSS scheme employment obligations, they continue to satisfy the eligibility conditions for receipt of the underlying social welfare payment used to access the RSS scheme and, they satisfy the necessary means test.

By working closely in a supportive role with a wide range of community and not for profit groups, RSS helps to create a sustainable community volunteer culture and supports activities that contributes to the character and appearance of rural communities. I am fully committed to the future of RSS, and will continue to support it for the benefit of scheme participants and the valuable contribution being made to their local communities.