Youth Council calls for halt in budget cuts to youth services
Youth services cut 6 times more than overall Government expenditure
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), an umbrella organisation that represents voluntary youth organisations, is appealing to the Government to protect services for young people, particularly those hardest hit by recession.
The organisation stated that funding for youth work services that support over 380,000 young people has already been cut by 30% from €73.1m in 2008 to €51.4m in 2013: “A further €3 million cut is proposed for 2014. We are calling on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to reverse this proposal,” said Mary Cunningham, NYCI director.
“Young people have been hardest hit by this recession. Over 177,000 young people have emigrated since 2008 and youth unemployment today is at almost 29% compared to just over 13% in 2008. These proposed cuts mean youth organisations would have to further reduce services and supports available to young people from disadvantaged areas and those suffering most at the hands of this recession, at a time when demand has increased.”
Value for money
Ms Cunningham also said that youth work services provide value for money: “Youth work services are not staff-cost heavy, as they are run by just under 1,400 full time staff working with over 40,000 volunteers. Moreover, an Indecon Report found that every €1 invested in youth work saves the State €2.20 in the long run.”*
“We accept that all areas of public funding have faced cuts, but youth services have been cut by 6 times more than current Government expenditure since 2008. Given that the adjustment in 2014 will now be €600 million less than originally committed to by Government and in light of the severe cuts to date, we are calling on the Government to cancel the €3 million cuts to youth work,”** concluded Ms Cunningham.
2. About National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people, and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie
*Assessment of the Economic Value of Youth Work by Indecon Economic Consultants, November 2012
**Funding for youth work has been cut by 30% compared to current Government expenditure which has been cut by 4.3% (from €53.4bn to €51.1bn) since 2008.
4. Key facts & figures
Youth work services engage with and support 383,000 young people, majority in disadvantaged areas. Funding has been cut by 30% from €73.1m in 2008 to €51.4m in 2013.
383,000 young people participate in and benefit from youth work, 53% coming from socially and economically disadvantaged areas.
Ireland has 4th highest number of young people not “in education, employment or training” (NEETS) in 2011, 18.4% here compared to average of 12.9%.
We accept that all areas of public funding have faced cuts but youth services have been cut by 6 times more than current Government expenditure since 2008.
Funding for youth work has been cut by 30% compared to current Government expenditure which has been cut by 4.3% (from €53.4bn to €51.1bn) since 2008.
Youth organisations have had to reduce services and supports available to young people at a time when demand has increased. Youth organisations want to support the youth guarantee, but if funding cut further limit their capacity to contribute.
Another €3m cut will put services currently under severe strain. Last year angered by successive cuts young people, youth workers and youth organisations did protest outside Leinster House and DCYA.
The adjustment in 2014 will now be closer to €2.5 billion; therefore given the severe cuts to date we are calling on the Government to cancel the €3m cuts to youthwork.