Thursday, 3 October 2019

Ceisteanna (317)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

317. Deputy John McGuinness 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; if the lack of financial support for youth services will be addressed in budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40253/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

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.

Question No. 318 and 319 answered with Question No. 316.