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The Community and Voluntary Sector – programmes under attack… December 21, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
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Thanks to John O’Neill for the following taken from From Liberty On-line

COMMUNITIES UNDER ATTACK
The Community and Voluntary Sector has been once again been attacked by the Fianna Fáil/Green Party Government in its latest budget. The true cost of economic mismanagement and bank bail-outs is now being felt by communities which gained little from the so-called Celtic Tiger.

Workers and projects such as childcare, drug rehabilitation, community employment, elder care and community development have already suffered budget cuts this year. Once again Brian Lenihan has decided to attack communities rather than tax those who can afford to contribute most.

Among the many cuts, it is proposed that 31 Community Development Programmes are to close their doors by the end of January 2010, with up to 290 job losses.

On top of already slashed budgets, Drug Task Force funding has been cut by 11%. Many projects will not be able to survive this reduction. Furthermore, Department of Education funding for drug rehabilitation projects will be reduced by 32% in 2010 and completely removed in 2011.

Community Employment (CE) and Job Initiative workers, already on low wages, will see their pay drop by up to 5.5%. CE training and education grants are expected to be cut in the New Year.

Local Partnerships will see their budgets cut by 11% in 2010, threatening jobs and services. Youth Facilities will also be cut by 10% next year.

These cuts are not abstract numbers, but will mean job losses, fewer services and communities abandoned.

In the absence of SIPTU activists and members organising, protesting, lobbying over the past twelve months there is no doubt that the cuts to the Community and Voluntary sector would have been much greater. However, our work cannot end here. We need to continue to build a fighting union that can defend jobs, projects and communities, not just against these cuts, but those that the Government will try and introduce in the next budget.

Bosnian CDP (Dublin)
Community Tecnical Aid (Dublin)
Connemara Community Radio
Inner City Renewal Group (Dublin)
Partners CDP (Dublin)
Pavee Point (Dublin)
Piece Project (Dublin)
Ballyfermot Travellers
Blayney Blades (Monaghan)
CAP Ballymun
Clonmel Travellers Development
Crumlin CDP
Dolcain (Dublin)
East Clare CDP
Edenmore/Raheny CDP
Equal Access (Tallaght)
Forum CDP (Connemara)
Greater Blanchardstown CDP
Independent Mothers Project (Waterford)
Kilmore West CDP (Dublin)
Link Cherry Orchard
Matt Talbot Community Trust (Dublin)
North Clondalkin
North West Inner City Women’s Network
Sherkin Island CDP (Cork)
Southside CDP (Drogheda)
VISTA CDP (Dublin)
West Tallaght Resource Centre
Women of the North West (Mayo)

There are 31 all in so there are two missing from the list above. SIPTU has organised a meeting for projects affected Monday 21st December at 12 noon in Liberty Hall, Dublin 1

Daragh O’Connor, SIPTU Organiser

Just reading that list is it possible to see a more targeted attack on areas of social need and on the frameworks used to deal with that need? Choices were made to maintain taxation at this Budget at previous levels. Expenditures were cut. And here’s the result. But that’s not ideological. No, not at all.

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Comments»

1. EamonnCork - December 21, 2009

A new low in absolute lousiness and bullying. I know at least one of these programmes and it’s done wonders. I know the work more of them do has been valuable. I also know that none of them will be replaced by anything better. And I hear in the distance a little speech from Mary Hanafin or someone about, “the poverty industry,” and perhaps, “the nanny state,” a phrase whose lingo tells you a great deal about its geographical and class provenance. Tough decisions. What did Michael Soden say? You have your social standing and I have mine?
This kind of thing has, sometimes terrible, consequences. The heroin epidemic in Dublin in the late seventies was exacerbated in certain estates by the fact that cuts in funding meant the Corporation took away caretaking staff and also by the fact that the government forbade the Corpo from using a large proportion of money from local authority house sales for maintenance work. Result an increasingly anarchic atmosphere in increasingly dilapidated estates which made life even harder than it should have been. People pay for this nonsense.

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2. Ian - December 21, 2009

I’d love to know how that list was drawn up. I know for example that an FF councillor lobbied for the CDPs in his locality, met CRAG civil servants – interestingly none of the CDPs in the county where he is a representative are on that list

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3. Tomboktu - December 21, 2009

Both of the CDPs in Minister John Curran’s constituency are on the list.

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4. WorldbyStorm - December 22, 2009

I notice that we’ve also confirmation that exemptions on waste charges are being lifted for those on social welfare etc…

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Gypsy - December 24, 2009

There’s a friend of mine who everytime he hears mention of ‘the crisis in capitalism’ has a little laugh although he says he feels more like crying. He feels the real crisis is in socialism.
When you see an action like this, bearing in mind the make up of Dublin City council and the hope some people have in that being the basis for a fightback, I’m inclined to agree with him.

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5. Remi Moses - December 23, 2009

‘Salaried workers will not pay for this situation: we will not proceed with wage freezes or cuts. We did not come to power to tear down the social state.”

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou responds to EU demands to cut his country’s debt.

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Crocodile - December 23, 2009

And a casual remark by RTE Finance Correspondent Sean Whelan this morning that the UK’s fiscal position ‘is worse than ours’. They’ll be cutting services and public sector pay, then, Sean? Er…no. An election coming up apparently, and they’d never get away with that kind of thing.

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ejh - December 24, 2009

I liked the Guardian report on the Greek situation which employed the term “the markets are fearful”. My view is that anybody writing such a phrase should be hung out of a window by their ankles as per A Fish Called Wanda until such time as they appreciate what “fearful” actually means.

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6. Remi Moses - December 23, 2009

The Greek example might show the value of burning a few banks and having a trade union movement that won’t hesitate to call a general strike.

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7. Jim Monaghan - December 28, 2009

Did anyone else notice that senior Civil Servants have been excused a lot of the recent cuts as they have lost their bonus.Undeserved in my opinion.Even those responsible for the messes in FAS got it. Whatever awards civil/public servants got it was drawfted by the up to 10% bonus of the tops. If this cut had gone ahead it would/could have kept the above mentioned schemes going.They have to be watched.

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8. John O'Neill - January 4, 2010

Just to let you all know the ‘conditions attached’ by the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to funding allocated to Community Development Projects in 2010. The Dept has developed a new programme called the Local Community Development Programme that will consist of the merging of local Partnership companies and the CDP’s. According to the Dept the aim of the new Local and Community Development Programme is to;

“Tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government and its agencies and people in disadvantaged communities. This will be underpinned by four high-level goals which are: to promote awareness, knowledge and uptake of a wide range of statutory, voluntary and community services; to increase access to formal and informal educational, recreational and cultural development activities and resources; to increase peoples’ work readiness and employment prospects; and to promote engagement with policy, practice and decision making processes on matters affecting local communities.”

The merger requires all independent management committees to “wind down” (liquidate) with an option to participate in a “advisory council with others” which I doubt many MC’s will bother doing as advice, unlike direction, can be ignored.

A press release from the Community Workers Cooperative voice’s many of the CDP Management Committee/Staff concerns about the new programme, the manner in which it is being rolled out and primarily the rationale behind it stating;

“The new programme that the 150 remaining projects are being required to sign up to will have significant and far reaching negative consequences for work with lone parents, Travellers and the long term unemployment. Ann Irwin stated, ‘Words such as coercion and bullying were being used by participants at the meeting today to describe the tactics being used by the DCRGA. The projects are being given the choice of signing up to a flawed programme that will severely negate their ability to their work or lose their funding – and they are being given four days to make their minds up on this. It really isn’t good enough and participants firmly believed that there are hidden motivations behind the entire process.’

A number of the projects present had signed the new contract but stated that they did so out of fear for what will happen after Christmas when they will have no money to pay their staff and other bills. ‘Compulsory compliance’ was the phrase used for this and projects were adamant that the DCRGA should not interpret the fact that they have signed up to the new programme as any sign of confidence or belief in the programme.”

In full at;

http://cwc.ie/

I am not sure what is happening to the projects that were considered ‘not viable’ by the Government but I know that there is an appeal process which I presume most will be availing of even if the Department will not divulge the criteria/process it used to make their decisions on projects viability.

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9. Ian - January 4, 2010

I heard that the CDPs in John Currans constituency are allegedly on the list because they had protested outside his office

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