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.