Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Questions (888, 889)

Brendan Smith

Question:

888. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the proposals she put forward at the recent EU meeting of youth ministers in respect of the need to provide additional supports to young persons through the youth sector; if the EU will provide funding to support the provision of vital services for young persons through these difficult times; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8070/20]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

889. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the additional funding that will be provided to the youth sector to support young persons particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable young persons during these difficult times; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8071/20]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 888 and 889 together.

As the Deputy may appreciate I must be mindful of the ongoing talks on Government formation in making any comments on future funding or policies.

In the present difficult circumstances, I have made my position clear that the funding provided to youth services across the country is both necessary and essential. Funding to services, for youth clubs and to national youth organisations has been maintained. I secured €61.79 million in current funding for my Department's youth funding, an increase of €1.4 million on 2019.

My officials have been in regular contact with national youth organisation and the Education and Training Boards to monitor the situation affecting youth services funded by my Department. I applaud the many services that are delivering essential work in their communities and that have innovated and adapted to find new and different ways of engaging young persons.

Many organisations now find themselves in financial difficulty due to the ongoing crisis. My colleague the Minister for Rural and Community Development put in place a scheme using Dormant Accounts funding. This comprises €35 million for a Covid-19 Stability Fund and €5 million as a commitment to a Philanthropy Fund, ‘Innovate Together’, to focus on projects that provide innovative and adaptive solutions to existing and emerging challenges.

I can further advise the Deputy that services that have had to reduce services or hours may be in a position to avail of the other supports provided by the Government, and information is available on the website www.gov.ie, regarding the respective roles of Revenue and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

With regard to the informal video conference of EU Ministers for Youth on the 19 May, I communicated my intention to continue funding for youth organisations in Ireland throughout this crisis period. I highlighted in particular how this funding would allow the continuation of targeted youth support to marginalised, disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.