Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte, has welcomed the announcement of the 2017 Youth Capital Programme, but is questioning the Minister’s assertion that it is a brand new scheme.

“Minister Zappone seems to be pretending that this capital programme is an entirely new source of funding for youth organisations, when in reality there has been a certain amount of money earmarked for youth capital spending for a number of years now”, explained Deputy Rabbitte.

“I appreciate that this funding is a much needed increase on 2016 levels, however funding for youth services is still about 3 million below what it was in 2011. Given the increased demand that many youth organisations have experienced over the past number of years, this is a worrying situation.

“This announcement, however, is a step in the right direction by the government, and I hope that we will see further increases to funding for youth services over the coming months and years”.