Community development

Print FriendlyPrint This Article

Funding for youth services

Several deputies raised the funding of youth services.  In a reply to a question about Cherry Orchard from Joan Collins (PBP, Dublin SC), the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald told her that Cherry Orchard had been asked to make a 2% saving and The Base 10% (Dail Eireann, Debates, 16th April 2013, 8).  She ‘would prefer not to be doing this’ and hoped for growth again.  As with all other departments, she must ask services to reform and manage on less.  The Comprehensive Review of Expenditure had set down savings required of her department in 2012, 2013 and 2014, with 10% in 2013.  The City of Dublin Youth Services Board had originally proposed reductions up to 14%.  When her department considered these proposals, cuts of 14% were deemed unacceptable and revised proposals were submitted, reducing the 14% to 10%. 

Joan Collins pointed out that these projects were in the most disadvantaged part of the country.  They had already been cut to the bone, nearly 30% in the past five years.  Why could the government not use some of the €1bn saved from the promissory note?

The City of Dublin Youth Services Board had assured her that it would re-examine the position if there were a question of front-line services being adversely affected. Her department had engaged in discussions with youth organizations where there was a question that a service might not continue and she was open to discussion on particular services.

>  See also: Dail Eireann, Debates, 17th April 2013, 230.