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Three Months after Children’s Referendum

posted Feb 27, 2013, 5:17 AM by Peter Kosinski   [ updated Mar 6, 2013, 8:47 AM ]
Three Months after Children’s Referendum Leading Youth Organisation Reveals Disadvantaged Youth Projects Cut by Four Times the Rate of Overall Government Expenditure

Youth Work Ireland has today revealed that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has cut funding to disadvantaged youth projects by three times the rate of overall cuts to public expenditure. The organisation has said that such cuts reveal the real priorities of the Department are clearly elsewhere. The Department has cited the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure as the basis for such cuts. However the youth organisation, which works with approximately 100,000 young people around the country, has said that none of the reviews or analysis set out in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure have taken place and the Department has not progressed its overall strategy for children and young people to truly know where resources should be allocated.

“The commitment of the Government to seriously dealing with issues confronting children and young people in the most disadvantaged communities is completely tarnished by these latest cuts to youth projects in the most disadvantaged communities. Disadvantaged youth projects are now being cut by 10% per year when the Book of Estimates shows that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs often has more money year on year, with €25 million more in its estimate for 2013 than 2011. It is clear that disadvantaged youth projects are the primary target for the Department in generating the resources for banks and for the troika. The general rate of expenditure reduction in the last few austerity years has been on average 2.5%. It is time for the Minister or the Taoiseach to explain the logic for targeting disadvantaged youth projects” said Michael McLoughlin from Youth Work Ireland

“We heard many fine words during the referendum campaign last year which was fully supported by youth workers and youth organisations yet the reality of the Governments commitments in this area can be seen this week. Everybody accepts that the country is in a bad way and corrective action is needed. However the question is why particular groups and sections are signalled out for such harsh treatment. There is no justification for cutting these projects which work with the most disadvantaged by four times the average of Government expenditure at a time when we have a mental health and unemployment crisis for young people” McLoughlin added