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Cuts to youth services short-sighted – Reilly

28 February, 2013

Speaking in the Seanad today, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly raised the impact of cuts to youth services provision.

Senator Reilly said:

“Youth services are a vital part of community development right across the State. Cuts by 10% to the funding for 2012 will jeopardize supports and projects for young people, especially those hit hardest by the recession and disadvantage.

“On the day when EU ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the Commission’s proposal for a ‘Youth Guarantee’ and trying to ensure that no young person slips further into the depths of unemployment or long term unemployment, we in Ireland are actually cutting the funding for the services who deal with this very group of people.

“As holders of the Presidency, should we not be leading be example, empowering and equipping the organisations and services that are at the forefront of dealing with these marginalised youths and making sure that they have the resources they need. Should we not be showing that we are serious about young people? This is especially pertinent given the Eurostat report just published this week.

“Eurofound revealed that the economic loss to society of not integrating young jobseekers throughout the EU is estimated to be at €153billion. The economic cost to countries like Ireland is estimated to be in the region of 2% of GDP so the cost of youth unemployment could be at €3.16 billion. These organisations have a critical role to play in that reintegration and cutting their funding is short-sighted.

“I would like to remind the Minister of the recent Indecon economic assessment for NYCI which proves that youth work is value for money – it shows that for every €1 the state invests in youth work it saves €2.2 in the long run, making the deep cuts to youth services even more difficult to understand, especially when these services are already stretched to the limit and cannot sustain any of these cuts.” ENDS

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