Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Youth Policy.

21.

asked the Minister for Education the plans he has for the implementation of a Government youth policy.

22.

asked the Minister for Education if he proposes to implement the proposal contained in the document A Policy for Youth and Sport published in April, 1977, by the Government that additional funds be provided to vocational education committees for assistance to youth and sport; and, if so, when.

23.

asked the Minister for Education if he proposes to implement the proposal that community animateurs be appointed in four areas mentioned in the document A Policy for Youth and Sport; and, if so, when.

24.

asked the Minister for Education if he proposes to implement the proposal for an in-service training scheme for full-time youth workers contained in the document A Policy for Youth and Sport; and, if so, when.

25.

asked the Minister for Education if he will implement the proposal for a sports council as mentioned in the document A Policy for Youth and Sport; and, if so, when.

26.

asked the Minister for Education if he will implement the proposal for an interest subsidy for the improvement and provision of youth and sport facilities contained in the document A Policy for Youth and Sport; and, if so, when.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 to 26 together. I am at present preparing for the implementation of my Government's policy for youth and sport. Aspects of A Policy for Youth and Sport of May, 1977, which conform to my Government's policy will be included. In this regard, (a) the continuance of the existing grant-in-aid scheme for voluntary youth and sport organisations, which has been in operation since 1969-70; (b) the provision of additional funds to vocational education committees for assistance to youth and sport; (c) the introduction of an in-service training scheme for full-time youth workers; and (d) the establishment of a sports council—will be included.

It is my intention that the Government's youth and sport policy be implemented as soon as possible. I have not yet decided on the question of community animateurs and the the interest subsidy schemes.

This is the Parliamentary Secretary's first day at answering questions and he is inexperienced, but if he had had more time to think about it he would have realised that he should not have answered the six questions together. Could he tell me how the list he has read out in answer to all the questions, even though he spoke of his Government's policy, was in A Policy for Youth and Sport published in April, 1977? Every one of those which has been implemented now was, moryah, this Government's proposal.

I do not agree. Before the policy was announced there was already a sports council which had been disbanded by the previous Government. There was already financial assistance to vocational education committees and a scheme for youth workers. Practically everything that was recorded in the policy was already in existence. Therefore I cannot understand how Deputy Barry would say to me that they occurred de novo from the policy scheme in question.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary point out the difference between what he has read out in reply to Questions Nos. 21 to 26 and A Policy for Youth and Sport which was published in April, 1977?

I have indicated that, in so far as the policy statement in question represents but the recording of that which already existed and which was my Government's policy at the time, that obviously will be retained. In respect of the animateurs, as they are called—which I see as an attempt at imitating the French style but which is not at all applicable to the circumstances here—I have reservations. In respect of the subsidy scheme, I am not too sure about it. They are the two new aspects and I do not fully agree with the Deputy.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary say where he advanced and made changes in the policy for youth and sport? I cannot get an answer to that.

I cannot help the Deputy.

The questions should not have been taken together. Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise the tremendous responsibility which rests upon his shoulders with respect to youth? What exactly are his priorities in relation to youth and sport? Does he intend to implement those priorities through the Government youth policy and can he give us any indication of when he intends to introduce that policy?

I have indicated that I am hopeful that I will introduce what would be regarded as my Government's policy very shortly. If the Deputy puts down a specific question as to what would be in it I shall answer him. The questions put down by him refer to a policy document and not necessarily to my Government's policy.

With respect, there are six enumerated items here which seem likely to be included in the Government's policy document. Could I ask the Parliamentary Secretary what are his priorities in relation to youth affairs and sport?

What are my priorities? The whole field of youth and sport is a priority with me and I am hoping that I will be in a position to redress the retrogression that occurred during the last four years.

What is the Parliamentary Secretary's attitude towards the provision of extra capital for the provision of facilities for physical recreation and otherwise in relation to youth affairs and sport?

I am hungry for moneys to cover the whole area. I cannot have too much and it will be my aim to get it.

(Cavan-Monaghan): Is the money going to be found out of the 20,000 new jobs that the Parliamentary Secretary is going to create?

I am calling Question No. 27.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary not agree that it is a very sad day when this priority for youth is the provision of prisons and nothing else?

That is a totally separate question and it is calculated to create disorder. I am asking the Parliamentary Secretary to answer Question No. 27.

I am resisting being provoked into replying to a nonsensical question of that nature.

What has the Parliamentary Secretary done apart from providing prisons? What other moneys has he sought from the Minister for Finance?

Would the Government——

I am not allowing any further supplementary questions.

Will the new Government document, when it does appear, promote the principle of sport for all? Is the Parliamentary Secretary's Department committed to that principle?

I was in the Department before and I had already introduced a policy of sport for all. Naturally it will be my concern to continue it.

Would he consider providing any recreational facilities?

Question No. 27.