Youth Council warns Minister of closures and impact on vulnerable young people as ‘cupboard is bare’
Meeting with Minister Noonan, the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) outlined the need to maintain funding to youth organisations to continue to provide much needed supports and services for young people, the need for measures addressing youth unemployment, the need to reduce alcohol-related harm and address child poverty.
The council warns that ‘the youth sector cupboard is bare’ and further cuts will place many voluntary youth organizations at risk of closure.
The NYCI, the representative body for national voluntary youth organisations who work with tens of thousands of young people at a local, regional and national level, is meeting with Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD, this morning as part of a delegation of 17 community and voluntary organizations to discuss the upcoming Budget.
“We accept that the Government is bound by the agreement with the Troika, but it has a choice in how it can reach the €3.6 billion in savings,” said James Doorley, Assistant Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland.
“The Minister and Government are not just conducting a book-keeping exercise; they need to take into account the impact of their decisions on children and young people not only now, but next year and in the next 5 to 10 years. Many of the voluntary youth organisations, projects and services that are under extreme pressure to survive are supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Ireland,” continued Mr. Doorley.
“Youth organisations have trimmed all they can in recent years to keep youth programmes and projects open and, having endured on average cuts of more than 20% over the last 3 years, the cupboard is now bare. Further significant reductions will lead to organisations having no option but to close, ending vital programmes and projects in communities all over the country.”
“We believe the necessary savings can be found by increasing taxation – but not income tax – by €2 for every €1 reduction in funding of public services. We have also put forward one modest but concrete proposal to raise funding in our pre-budget submission: to require the large retailers and supermarkets who sell vast quantities of alcohol to pay an alcohol excise licence fee based on sales rather than on the flat fee at present of a maximum of €1,500. We estimate that this would raise over €3m and would ensure that those retailers who are benefiting so much from drink sales would be making a fairer contribution to deal with the consequences of alcohol-related harm”
Other issues up for discussion include NYCI proposals to address youth unemployment, expand places in education and training for jobseekers and actions to address child poverty. These and other proposals are outlined in the NYCI Pre-Budget Submission to be made publicly available following the meeting on www.youth.ie
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Officer at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or 01 425 5955 or email email@example.com
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 54 voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.