Minister O’Brien announces an additional €3.55 million extension to the Community Services Programme Support Fund
Mr Joe O Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities has today, Friday 27th November, announced additional funding of €3.55m for the Community Services Programme (CSP) 2020 Support Fund. This brings the total amount allocated under the Fund to €4.75m.
Announcing the funding, the Minister said:
“I am delighted to be in a position to extend the Support Fund to assist CSP supported organisations who are struggling financially. I am very aware of the challenges facing community organisations and I am committed to working closely with the sector in managing through these”.
In the normal course the Support Fund would provide an additional once off payment to help organisations who were struggling financially, however, as a result of COVID-19 it has been repurposed to provide assistance of up to €350 per Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position per week.
The Minister added –
“The COVID-19 crisis has brought unprecedented challenges to every CSP supported organisation throughout the country resulting in changes in the way in which they deliver their services, while also adhering to public health guidelines. Today’s announcement of over €3.5m brings the total Support Fund to €4.75m. It also includes funding of €0.75m for the Employers’ PRSI element for the manager’s position. It is essential that we provide supports to CSP supported organisations to ensure they can continue to provide services when the restrictions are lifted.”
As CSP supported organisations were not eligible to avail of the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, which provided employers with a reduced rate of Employers PRSI contribution of 0.5%, it was considered appropriate to provide funding to assist organisations who are struggling financially to meet the Employer’s PRSI contribution for the manager positions also during this time.
Almost €47 million will be provided under the Programme in 2020 to 425 organisations supporting over 2,030 positions.
The Minister concluded:
“The services that CSP organisations provide to their local communities are irreplaceable and I want to thank them all for their efforts. I also want to take this opportunity to commend all those organisations that have remained open providing necessary supports such as Meals on Wheels and indeed increased their services during this crisis period.”
The funding will be administered over the coming weeks by Pobal, who manage the Programme on behalf of the Department.