Thursday, 3 October 2019

Questions (316, 318, 319, 327, 328, 329)

John McGuinness

Question:

316. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if investment will be increased in youth work in budget 2020 to support the work of youth organisations to deliver more and enhanced youth work services to young persons in County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40252/19]

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John McGuinness

Question:

318. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that while overall expenditure has increased by 12% since 2011 funding for youth work has only increased by 0.3%; if the lack of investment in youth services will be addressed in budget 2020 in order that voluntary youth organisations in County Kilkenny can meet the needs of young persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40254/19]

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John McGuinness

Question:

319. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the allocation to the youth service grant scheme will be increased (details supplied) in budget 2020 in view of the fact that the allocation to the scheme is at 2005 levels not taking inflation into account; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40255/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

327. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will address the lack of investment in youth work in budget 2020 (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40309/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

328. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that while the budget of her Department has increased by €511 million between 2014 and 2019 only 2% of that additional funding has been allocated to support youth work; her plans to increase the proportion of departmental funding for youth work in budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40310/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

329. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that while overall Government expenditure has increased by 12% since 2011 funding for youth work has only increased by 0.3%; her plans to increase investment in youth work in budget 2020 in order that voluntary youth organisations can meet the needs of a growing youth population; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40311/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 316, 318, 319 and 327 to 329, inclusive, together.

As the Deputy is aware the annual Estimates process is ongoing. It would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time as funding for the provision of youth services, amongst other areas, is under consideration and, as might be expected, is subject to resources.

I have enhanced investment in youth service provision each year since I took office, increasing current funding for youth services by an additional €8.5 million in the last three years. This represents an increase of 16% compared to 2016. Included in this funding under the Youth Service Grant Scheme has increased by almost 10% since 2016, rising to €11.126m in 2019. 

In addition, I have taken on board the findings of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Programmes. I am prioritising the implementation of an integrated funding scheme as recommended by this Review. Consultations with a wide range of stakeholders are continuing with a view to introducing this targeted youth funding scheme as soon as possible. 

In 2019, my Department has funding of €60.4 million that is being deployed across a broad range of programmes supporting the provision of youth services throughout the country, with a specific focus on services in communities in areas considered to be disadvantaged based on the deprivation index. With the invaluable assistance of each Education and Training Boards and national organisations, the funding from my Department supports national and local youth programmes involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff  working in communities across the country, as well as some 1,500 youth clubs nationally.