WATCH | Government must scrap ‘derogatory’ JobPath scheme

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has called on the Government to scrap the JobPath scheme as he claims it treats people in a negative and derogatory way and he believes investment in community based schemes should be revisited.

Deputy Murphy was speaking on the Sinn Féin JobPath Motion in the Dáil last week.

“One of the most hated schemes ever introduced by a Government was JobPath. People are being asked to travel 20 miles or 30 miles out of their way without transport being available. Public transport is not available in many areas and some people on the JobPath scheme could not get to work. I have utter intolerance for the scheme and fully support Deputy Brady and Sinn Féin in tabling the motion. Since JobPath was introduced in 2015 it is clear the scheme was not working. I know from many of the people I represent that they despise the scheme. The amount that two private firms are given to implement the scheme is appalling. If I am not mistaken, it is approximately €160 million.

“There were fine FÁS schemes, Tús schemes, CLÁR schemes in the country and I urge the Government to scrap JobPath, revisit those community-based schemes and put the money back into them. A man or woman in a local village might be asked under JobPath to travel 20 or 30 miles without transport to somewhere, but if he or she could go on a local community FÁS scheme close to home, would that not make perfect sense?

“After more than three years, it is time to scrap it, bin it and, as other Deputies have said, treat people with respect. The one-size-fits-all approach that the Government takes at times is not the way to treat human beings. Not everyone who leaves JobPath does not want to work. In many cases, there are genuine reasons. There must be a better way for people. Many people just do not fit into certain categories, and elected representatives and Governments must acknowledge that. In this case, however, the Government does not acknowledge that the scheme is a fiasco. It is an unacceptable disaster that treats many people in society in a negative and derogatory way. We must send a clear message to scrap the scheme. It is not workable or acceptable,” concluded Deputy Murphy