Varadkar announces details of 500 extra Rural Social Scheme places


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Varadkar announces details of 500 extra Rural Social Scheme places

First increase in places since 2006 in scheme to support farmers, fishermen & local communities

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has announced details of where the 500 extra places on the Rural Social Scheme for farmers and fishermen will be allocated.

The increase brings the total number from 2,600 to 3,100. It’s the first increase since 2006 when the numbers increased by 100 from 2,500 to 2,600.

“I am a big fan of the Rural Social Scheme. It provides an opportunity to farmers and fishermen to make off-farm income in areas where there are few opportunities to do so, brings money into rural and coastal communities and gets valuable work done on the ground. I am very pleased to be in a position to allocate 500 additional places around the country and if successful, I will seek extra places for 2018. This move forms an important part of the Government's commitment to rural Ireland and ensures that all parts of the country and people from all walks of life benefit from the economic recovery,” Minister Varadkar said.

“The Scheme is popular with participants and in the communities, which benefit from their talents. It also gives participants an opportunity to improve their existing skills, or develop new skills, while performing valuable work in their local communities. And significantly, it also supports participants to stay involved in farming or fishing in their local area. I’m delighted that we can expand the scheme for the first time since 2006 thanks to Budget 2017. It shows the Government’s ongoing commitment to rural Ireland.”

The work carried out under the Scheme helps to support countless sports clubs, community services and rural facilities. But it’s also an important source of extra income to farmers and fishermen who may be working in agriculture or fishing on a part-time basis and find it difficult to maintain a decent income. It also gives them an opportunity to develop new skills. Participants provide 19.5 hours a week on a local rural or community project in a return for a top-up on their social welfare payments.

The Scheme is especially important in the west, north-west and south of Ireland, where participants work on the following type of projects:

  • Looking after waymarked ways, agreed walks and bog roads;
  • Caretaking at community and sporting facilities;
  • Energy conservation work for the elderly and the less well off;
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects;
  • Social care and care of the elderly such as meals on wheels;
  • Community care for pre-school and after-school groups;
  • Environmental maintenance work such as Tidy Towns projects;
  • Helping non-profit cultural and heritage centres.

The extra places will strengthen the Rural Social Scheme by supporting more farming and fishing families on low incomes. The Scheme is delivered through 35 Implementing Bodies or Local Development Companies, and Údarás na Gaeltachta.  

Participants must be actively farming or fishing with an underlying entitlement to a qualifying Department of Social Protection payment, such as Farm Assist, in order to be eligible. Most participants receive a weekly payment of €188 a week (equal to  the maximum personal rate on Farm Assist) (rising to €193 from Mid-March), and an additional €22.50 top-up per week under the Rural Social Scheme.

Participation is voluntary and is dependent on the availability of vacancies in the relevant locality. As this scheme is administered on a local level by Implementing Bodies on behalf of the Department, a person should, in all instances, contact their local Development Company for any further information, or for an application form.

 

RSS Breakdown by County

County

Current Allocation

New Allocation

Carlow

18

22

Cavan

80

97

Clare

117

143

Cork

171

210

Donegal

227

308

Dublin

0

0

Galway

275

325

Kerry

267

304

Kildare

22

25

Kilkenny

19

24

Laois

25

29

Leitrim

100

121

Limerick

83

93

Longford

55

65

Louth

10

14

Mayo

562

641

Meath

17

21

Monaghan

40

62

Offaly

52

57

Roscommon

149

167

Sligo

124

138

Tipperary

63

81

Waterford

12

15

Westmeath

33

40

Wexford

39

50

Wicklow

20

23

Islands

20

25

Total

2600

3100

 

 

Additional 500 RSS places


Rural Social Scheme  Implementing Body

Current RSS Participants Quota

Proposed additional RSS places 

 Revised 2017 RSS allocation

Údarás na Gaeltachta *

437

60

497

Donegal Local Development Co Ltd

76

46

122

Galway Rural Development Co Ltd

156

32

188

Mayo Nth East Leader Part Co Teo

221

30

251

Clare Local Dev Co Ltd

117

26

143

South West Mayo Development Co Ltd

191

25

216

Monaghan Integrated Development Ltd

40

22

62

South Kerry Development Part CLG

138

21

159

Leitrim Integrated Dev Co Ltd

100

21

121

Roscommon Integrated Dev Co Ltd

149

18

167

Breffni Integrated Ltd, Cavan

80

17

97

Co Sligo Leader Partnership Company

124

14

138

Nth & East Kerry Leader Part Teo

89

13

102

East Cork Area Development

8

12

20

Inishowen Rural Development Ltd

30

12

42

IRD Duhallow Ltd

58

11

69

West Cork Development Part Ltd

68

11

79

South Tipperary Development Co

26

11

37

Wexford Local Development Ltd

39

11

50

Longford Community Resources

55

10

65

Forum Connemara Ltd

14

10

24

Westmeath Community Development Ltd

33

7

40

North Tipperary Leader Partnership

37

7

44

Ballyhoura Development Limited

47

6

53

County Kilkenny Leader Partnership

19

5

24

Offaly Integrated Local Dev Co Ltd

52

5

57

Comhar na nOileán Teo.

20

5

25

West Limerick Resources

36

4

40

Carlow Co Development Part Ltd

18

4

22

Laois Community & Enterprise Dev Co

25

4

29

Louth Community Resources

10

4

14

Meath Community Rural & Social Dev

16

4

20

Waterford Leader Partnership Ltd

12

3

15

Avondhu Blackwater Partnership Ltd

17

3

20

Co Wicklow Community Partnership

20

3

23

County Kildare Leader Partnership

22

3

25

Total

2,600

500

3,100

 * The 60 extra places to Údarás na Gaeltachta is broken down as follows:
   Mayo 24,
   Donegal 23,
   Galway 8,
   Cork 2,
   Kerry 3.

 

ENDS

Last modified:24/01/2017