Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (341)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

341. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44274/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

As the Deputy will be aware, CE scheme supervisors are employees of private companies in the community and voluntary sector that receive public funding. They are not employees of my Department or public servants, and as such were not subject to pay reductions under the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) which only applied to public servants.  

The issue of CE supervisor pensions is currently being examined by a Community Sector High Level Forum, chaired by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.  A number of Departments including my own Department are represented on this group, as are the unions and Pobal.

A detailed scoping exercise was carried out with input from the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) on the potential costs of providing Exchequer support for the establishment of such a pension scheme for employees across the Community and Voluntary sector in Ireland. The exercise clearly illustrated that this matter presents very significant issues for the Exchequer, with a potential cost to the State of €188 million per annum in respect of funding to enable an employer pension contribution in State funded Community and Voluntary organisations, excluding any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payment of pension as sought, which could, depending on the size of the sector, entail a further Exchequer cost of up to €318 million.

I am very conscious that while the issue relates to Community Employment supervisors and assistant supervisors, such individuals comprise of just one small group within the wider Community and Voluntary sector. Any provision of State funding for such a scheme in respect of those employees could potentially give rise to claims for similar schemes on the part of those in the broader sector, thus crystallising the potential level of liability.  Any solution to this issue will require careful consideration, in particular the implications for scarce Exchequer resources. 

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.