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State support for

community development

Economist says CDP cuts

will save nothing An economist demonstrated on Friday, December 4th, at a press conference in Cork, how closing CDPs is “a zero sum game.” While referring specifically to projects in the South-West, Tom O’Connor argues that the same can be said for closing the CDP Programme. He said that, in both economic and social terms, the State loses more than its saves. “The gross saving to the state of closing the 18 CDPs (€6.47 million) in the South-West is almost totally matched by the total costs (€6.31 million) made up of: dole payments to 306 workers; redundancy costs; loss of tax and PRSI; the loss of voluntary management necessitating 6 new public servants as managers (currently done at zero cost by voluntary management) in the proposed replacement local development programme. “When the social costs are added to the economic, closing down the CDPs will cost the state and its citizens: less workers trained and educated; loss of childcare facilities; loss of facilities which help jobseekers; loss of day care and counselling; loss of meeting places for sporting, mental health and other groups.

“This is likely to: increase unemployment; result in more admissions to hospitals; prevent lone parents and others from working; increase early school leaving; result in an increase in youth crime and anti-social behaviour. This will cost the government economically. “Childcare is a core activity of the CDPs. Spending of €1 on childcare results in a benefit of €14 to the government: children perform better academically and in subsequent employment; crime and anti-social behaviour is reduced including the cost of prison places; unemployment payments are also reduced; lone parents are reintegrated in to the labour force. All these benefits will be eliminated if CDPs are closed.” “There is no economic saving to the state in closing CDPs but they have been singled out as soft targets in the state’s knee-jerk reaction to cutting public expenditure.” He said the Bord Snip proposals are “indefensible.” the press also conference heard from a Voluntary board member, a staff member, 2 beneficiaries of the work of CDPs, among others.

35.

SIPTU meet Minister Curran SIPTU representatives met with Minister of State John Curran in November, on the same day the National Community Development Forum also met with the Minister. The meeting was to address union concerns over the impending closure of CDPs and the SIPTU delegation raised legal issues about the transfer of undertakings with regard to core staff and with the greater number of other staff employed by CDPs. The delegation included Gene Mealy and Gerry Flanagan of SIPTU’s Community Sector and Darragh O’Connor, Lead Organiser of SIPTU’s Community Campaign. SIPTU expects to have a follow-up meeting with the Minister early in the new year.

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Hot in Issue 30/31: bumper Double Issue Community Development Programme to end after 20 years/ 180 projects: facing wind-up in 2010/ New Pro...

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