Maintenance of funding for youth services welcomed
Young jobseekers: disappointment that cuts not reversed; no additional funding for Youth Guarantee
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has welcomed the announcement that there will be no further cuts to youth services in Budget 2015.
Mary Cunningham, NYCI Director said: “In the context of 7 successive years of cuts amounting to a 31% cut to youth services since 2008, it is to be welcomed that this year’s Budget sees no further reduction to vital services for young people.
“We recognise the role Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly had in this, and applaud his efforts to minimise the impact on youth organisations working on the ground to support young people, particularly those who are economically or socially disadvantaged and those suffering most at the hands of the recession.
“We look forward to working closely with Minister Reilly and his department, to ensure that Ireland achieves better outcomes and brighter futures for all young people.”
Ms Cunningham highlighted research by the NYCI showing that the youth sector is significant in both scale and impact: almost 1,500 staff work with over 40,000 volunteers to support more than 380,000 young people.*
“As well as making a very significant social impact, the sector also delivers exceptional value for money. A report on the economic value of the sector indicated that for every €1 spent on youth services the state saves €2.20 euro in the long run. With further resources youth organisations could make an even greater contribution to addressing youth unemployment, social exclusion and poverty,” she added.
Child benefit and First Time Buyers The organisation also welcomed measures such as the €5 a month extra in child benefit and the DIRT tax rebate for first time buyers but expressed disappointment at decisions regarding young jobseekers.
Young jobseekers “We are disappointed that the Government have not restored the full adult rate of €188 for young jobseekers under 26 who participate in initiatives such as the Back to Education Scheme, SOLAS funded training and JobBridge which would have provided more support to young people moving into education, training and work experience. We are also concerned that there is no provision of additional funding to implement the Youth Guarantee in 2015,” concluded Ms Cunningham.
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie