The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) was initiated by the then Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr. Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D. (announced in the Budget of December 2003). The RSS was launched by Minister Ó Cuív on 17th May 2004. The aims of the RSS are to provide income support for farmers and fisherpersons and to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities.
While responsibility for the operation of the RSS rests with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, it is managed at a local level by implementing bodies (Fingal Leader Partnership in the Dublin area)
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection monitors and visits the implementation of the RSS. Participants under RSS will be employees of their Implementing Body (Fingal Leader Partnership). While the RSS operates independently of the Community Employment Schemes, it will act to complement it in areas where both schemes are in operation.
All of the work undertaken during the RSS will be beneficial to the local community