Youth Council warns €5.4 million cuts to youth services will hit disadvantaged hardest
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has expressed dismay at the announcement of deep cuts of €5.4 million to youth work funding in 2013.
“This brings to 30% the cuts to youth services funding since 2008. This year’s cut is particularly disproportionate as it represents a third of the savings being made by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, despite the fact that funding for youth work services represents only 14% of its budget,” stated Mary Cunningham, NYCI Director.
“These cuts jeopardise frontline supports and projects for young people, especially those hit hardest by the recession. At a time when 37% of young people under 18 years are at risk of poverty and social exclusion – the highest in the EU15 – and with almost one in five young people not in education, employment or training the state should be investing in services to support young people.
“The recent Indecon economic assessment* for NYCI proves that youth work is value for money – it shows that for every €1 the state invests in youth work it saves €2.2 in the long run, making these deep cuts even more difficult to understand.
“The Budget does little for young jobseekers. While we welcome the increase in the number of JobBridge places by 2,500, the €48m announced for further education and training is a continuation of schemes already in place or a confirmation of announcements already made. Given the scale of the crisis, the proposals are wholly insufficient,” continued Ms Cunningham.
“We are also concerned that the cuts in supports to those who switch from social welfare to education and training programmes run by VTOS, Youthreach and FAS will make it much harder for those with limited means to access further education. The abolition of the €300 annual Cost of Education Allowance will also be a body blow for those who are already struggling to stay in education or training. This flies in the face of a Government commitment to encourage jobseekers to upskill and enhance their qualifications.
“We welcome the increase in excise duty on alcohol, which will reduce the availability of cheap alcohol and provide additional revenue to offset the €3.7bn cost to the state of alcohol misuse. However we are disappointed that the Government have failed to introduce a social responsibility levy on the drinks manufacturers. We believe that drinks industry multinationals who make so much from alcohol sales contribute more to address alcohol related harm,” concluded Ms Cunningham.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Officer at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or 01 478 4122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Notes to Editors:
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie
NYCI Pre-Budget Submission for Budget 2013 available online here:
For copies of NYCI Budget 2013 Analysis contact email@example.com