Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has criticised the Government over its Gateway scheme, and called for it to introduce real job creation programmes.

The Gateway scheme targets unemployed people and forces them to work for local authorities for at least 19 and half hours a week for 22 months for a measly €20 top-up to their dole payment.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The Gateway scheme does not involve quality training, it does not enhance employability, and it is not voluntary.

“Basically it is a scheme which has been hoisted on the unemployed to get them to work in a full time job for a measly €20 on top of their dole payment.

“So for working 19 and half hours a week these people targeted by the Gateway scheme will get less than a Euro an hour!

“This allows local councils to circumvent the recruitment embargo in place and get some cheap jobs done at the same time.

“The scheme can’t be accused of being innovative, it will not have a positive impact on long-term unemployed persons, and it is not in keeping with international best practise.

“For many it will be seen as a direct attack on workers’ rights and an abuse of vulnerable job seekers.

“The Government should be looking at implementing innovative ideas, such a robustly EU funded Youth Guarantee, getting the European Investment Bank to match funding to improve vital infrastructure, and not creating schemes to lower wages and stamp on workers’ rights.”