Private entities benefitting from taxpayer-funded Community Workers Scheme

Out of 1,100 unemployed participants in the Community Workers Scheme (CWS) run for the government by the General Workers Union, a number have been assigned to private companies and entities with no link to the public administration.

The Shift analysed data tabled in parliament and found that all Gozitan football clubs and some in Malta, parish churches, band clubs, and the hunters’ federation benefit from ’employees’ paid with taxpayers’ funds.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana created the scheme in 2015 when he was CEO at Jobsplus. It was intended to train some 600 long-term unemployed until they found productive employment, but it soon became a de facto government employment agency, offering permanent state-funded jobs to the unemployed while gaining favour with potential voters.

At the same time, most of those registering for work are put on the scheme, resulting in artificially low national employment statistics.

As the number of people in the scheme has swelled during the Labour Party’s time in government to over 51,000, participants in the scheme are now being assigned to the private sector.

These private entities do not have to pay for their assignee as all ‘salaries’ are covered by the government and, therefore, taxpayers.

One of the biggest beneficiaries is the Sannat Football Club, which has been assigned seven full-time government-paid workers to care for its small football ground. Their specific duties were not included in the data.

Other workers were assigned full-time to all other Gozitan football clubs, while some football clubs in Malta, including Qormi, San Gwann, Luqa, Siggiewi, Dingli, and Marsaskala, were also given employees.

The St Gregory Band Club, the Xewkija Band Club, La Stella of Rabat, and the parish churches of Ghajnsielem, Xaghra, Xewkija, and Tarxien have also been assigned workers through the scheme.

Two workers have also been assigned full-time to the FKNK – the hunters’ lobby group.

Among the total of 1,100 individuals that make up the scheme, costing taxpayers some €20 million in wages a year, some 400 work as handymen, and a further 300 work as cleaners.

National Audit Office audits of the scheme found that while the original scope of the scheme – training – was not being achieved, there was a severe lack of accountability and surveillance on whether some of the scheme’s participants were turning up for work.

                           

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4 Comments
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D. Borg
D. Borg
1 month ago

Typical Labour
Two taxpayer funded “workers” assigned to the FKNK, whilst no funds for the Malta Rangers Unit.
Are these FKNK “workers” engaged to warn FKNK members, when MRU or the lone policeman are approaching by any chance?!

Stephen Miceli
Stephen Miceli
1 month ago

We would appreciate if you were to specify to which Saint Gregory Band Club you are referring to. As President of the Socjeta’ Muzikali San Girgor of Sliema, I emphasize that we never received such benefits.

Joseph Micallef
Joseph Micallef
1 month ago

The modern version of lejber’s Korp tal-Emergenza, Bahhar u Sewwi, Korp tal-Pijunieri, Izra u Rabbi and many others that followed in mintoff’s and kmb’s government to hide the real unemployment figures.

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
1 month ago

With all this free help, Gozitan football teams can now concentrate on playing football. From now on, their performance should be phenomenal.

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