Sinn Féin candidate for Templeouge-Terenure Fintan Warfield has called on the Government to abandon the Gateway Scheme which will see 215 unemployed people carry out work for South Dublin County Council through the threat of cuts and suspensions to welfare payments.

Warfield said:

“Gateway seeks to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in our society by forcing them into twenty-two months of labour for a welfare top-up of €20 that can be eroded by tax.

“215 places will be targeted within South Dublin County Council with young and old alike being forced into the scheme through the threat of cuts and suspensions to welfare payments.

“Fine Gael and Labour should instead adopt activation programmes that are based on the principle of equal pay for equal work.

“The Gateway scheme does not include training or education mechanisms and as such it does not enhance the employability of participants. This reality is sharpened by the fact that local authorities cannot provide sustainable employment opportunities due to the Public Sector recruitment embargo.”