27 January 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke said the Minister for Rural and Community Development, has confirmed that additional funding of €54,450 will be made available for new social enterprises in Cork.
Senator Burke said: “The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports community organisations to provide local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model.
“It focuses on service delivery to disadvantaged communities and target groups, helping to address disadvantage and long term unemployment.
“The Programme targets communities where public and private sector services are lacking, either through geographical or social isolation or because demand levels are not sufficient.
“The funding announced by Minister Ring will be used to help alleviate the financial challenges faced by smaller CSP support organisations and maintain their viability pending completion of the CSP review.
“The funding will support social enterprises that provide employment opportunities for specific disadvantaged groups and categories of people, such as the long-term unemployed, Travellers, those recovering from drug addiction and people with convictions, to name but a few,” the Cork Senator said.
All CSP services were formally notified in October of the process. Pobal completed a desk-based financial assessment using the following criteria –
1. Organisations that are currently paying less than the minimum wage for 2019 of €9.80 per hours; or
2. that are paying €9.80 per hour but are considered to be in poor financial health; or
3. that their financial health is reasonably sound, but the difference between the existing rate of pay and new minimum wage is less than €0.50 per hour and the minimum wage will negatively impact the organisation’s financial situation.
Pobal used the 2017 Annual Financial Statements (AFS) to determine the financial health of the CSP supported organisations.
The findings have been collated into five categories. Three of these categories are consistent with the published criteria above. Pobal have identified two other categories which should be included –
• Organisations that are paying above the €10.30 per hour but are in poor financial health.
• All other organisations were assessed and in nine instances there were extenuating circumstances that warranted inclusion in the Fund also.