Speaking in the South Dublin County Council chamber this evening, the Mayor of South Dublin County and Sinn Féin Councillor for Templeogue-Terenure Fintan Warfield called on government to abandon the Gateway scheme.

Debating the motion in opposition to Gateway, Mayor Warfield said;

“Recognising that Gateway is compulsory, that it punishes people for being unemployed and copper-fastens the under-staffing of local services, this motion calls on the relevant Ministers to stop the roll-out of Gateway in local authorities immediately.”

“Sinn Féin is not opposed to activation schemes per say but Gateway means that citizens will get paid €1 an hour to work alongside others on multiples of that hourly wage for doing the same work.

“The shameful and exploitative Jobs Bridge and Gateway schemes should be wound down immediately and replaced with real job opportunities via Jobs Plus and by way of increased investment in Community Employment schemes.

“We hear of jobs being created in the economy everyday and of dole numbers decreasing but the fact remains that schemes like JobBridge and Gateway are massaging the numbers, hiding the realities of youth unemployment and exploiting young people.

“85,000 under 35’s having left this state since 2011. In the coming weeks South Dublin County Council will take on in the region of eighty Gateway staff. I welcome the move today, which saw Councillors oppose the scheme and send a clear message that the time has come to end policies that deliver least for those that have the least.”