On March 1st, Sinn Féin Deputy Dessie Ellis submitted a parliamentary question to the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton regarding the changes to the Community Employment Scheme. Following the Minister's response Mick made reference to the situation of a number of groups in Wexford and cited the need for the retention of these schemes as they have massive social benefits for the State. You can watch the coverage here.Representatives of three community employment schemes in Wexford, Ferns, Grantstown and Tagoat, have contacted me. They are in a bad way and are very upset about the proposed cuts. I asked them for a breakdown of their costs and spending and I can say that they could give lessons to a number of businesses on how to manage money. I was amazed by how well their schemes were put together and by how well they did things. The Minister says that the troika is putting pressure on budgets and that it is looking for quality of training and value for money. I know the Minister alluded to this herself but the troika will not measure the social dividend and that is what these schemes are about. We should not look at these schemes in purely financial terms. In the overall scheme of things, they are not a massive cost to the State but cutting them will have dramatic social consequences for the State.