Community Employment - Thousands of jobs axed - Socialist Voice July 2003

Community Employment - Thousands of jobs axed

LISA MAHER spoke to Iris in Whitechurch (Dublin). Iris is in her 50's and lives on a widow's pension.

"MY CE Scheme job was for three years, assisting the secretary in one of the local schools. I got 125 euro a week for 25 hours' work and I was allowed to keep all my widow's pension and other benefits.

I would have loved to stay at that job or even go on another CE job. It was great. When it ended I had to go and look for a job. I couldn't get onto another CE Scheme because they are cutting them back. I started working at instore promotions but the hours were very long, eventually I had to leave, so I am not working now. I think the CE schemes are a chance for everyone, they are a terrific social asset for people like me and our communities.

There is no hope for many people of getting on and improving themselves if the Schemes are gone, cutting them back is a disgrace. HB in Rathfarnham is closing down at the end of this month and the staff there were promised CE Schemes, but now a lot of the women have been told that their scheme can only be for one day a week.

The government have sold us out, where's all the money gone? They are cutting back on social welfare, closing down our work places and taking away the CE Schemes, the only way we had of getting a bit of training to improve our skills. I paid my taxes all my life and reared a family. I think this government has gone mad."

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