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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 525-46
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Forestry Sector
 Header Item Forestry Sector
 Header Item Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals
 Header Item Fisheries Protection
 Header Item Common Agricultural Policy Reform
 Header Item Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments
 Header Item Youth Services Provision
 Header Item Psychological Services
 Header Item Mental Health Services Provision
 Header Item Youth Enterprise Initiatives
 Header Item Youth Enterprise Initiatives
 Header Item National Youth Work Advisory Committee
 Header Item Youth Enterprise Initiatives

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 89 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 525-46

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 525. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54359/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme has not yet issued as, at this stage, the holding of the person named has not yet satisfied the Scheme minimum stocking density requirements. Immediately the holding concerned is confirmed as having met these requirements, the case will be further processed with a view to payment at the earliest possible date thereafter.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 526. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54360/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the application of the person named has recently been finalised, payment under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme will issue shortly, directly to the nominated bank account.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 527. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54361/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the application of the person named has recently been completed, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 528. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid their 2012 disadvantaged area payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54362/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As processing of the application of the person named has recently been completed, payment will shortly issue to the nominated bank account of the person named.

Forestry Sector

 529. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the reason Coillte failed to correctly predict the future supply of round logs that was to be available to the sawmilling industry here from the forests it manages; his views on whether the prediction of a rising future supply of round logs encouraged sawmillers to invest in plant, thus creating a competitive sawmilling industry with more processing capacity than the annual supply of mature round logs could meet; if anyone has been held to account for this misdirection; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54412/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Coillte Teoranta was established as a private commercial company under the Forestry Act, 1988 and day-to-day operational matters, such as timber supply forecasts, are the responsibility of the company. I understand that Coillte produces forecasts of the gross standing volume of roundwood in its estate, which form the basis for the company’s annual supply programme and its offer to its customers. This forecasted volume is validated on an annual basis through Coillte’s Roundwood Supply Document, which it shares with the wood industry, to ensure that Coillte meets its gross volume targets as set out in its Forecast.

As part of its commitment, Coillte regularly, on a 5 year rolling basis, publishes a forecast of potential roundwood supply. In the recent past this was done in 2000 (covering the 2000-2005 period), 2005 (covering the 2006-2010 period) and again in 2010 (covering the period 2011-2015). The roundwood volumes documented in these Forecasts are gross standing volume in the wood i.e. volume down to 7cm top diameter. I also understand that it is always made clear in the accompanying notes to Roundwood Supply Forecasts, each document represents an estimate of the gross standing volume in the period in broad timber dimension categories, i.e. top diameter class 7cm-13cm, 14cm-19cm and 20+cm. The forecast is not of sawlog, pulpwood and other log products that enter a wood processing mill.

As I mentioned, Coillte shares these Forecasts with its customers and the forecast figures go to make up the company’s annual supply programme and its offer to their sawmill customers. I consider that the investment in the development of processing facilities is a commercial decision for individual companies.

Forestry Sector

 530. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney his views on the threat that the sale of Coillte forests will pose for the future of the sawmilling industry here and the thousands of jobs therein and that the sale of such national assets will also threaten the future of downstream processing of timber as timber will be exported in the round to other countries; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this happened in New Zealand; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54415/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Further to the Government decision that a concession for the harvesting rights to Coillte’s forests be considered for sale, Coillte Board and management have been actively engaged in recent months with NewERA, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and my Department to examine the financial and other implications of developing the potential of Coillte’s forest assets.

  The process is at an advanced stage and, aside from the valuation of the forestry assets, a number of issues have been identified in relation to the possible harvesting rights concession. These include, inter alia, the possible impact to the timber industry, environmental and social impacts and consequential implications for the company and its levels of employment These issues each require detailed consideration. Case studies of the sale of State owned forestry in other countries, including New Zealand, has formed part of the analysis to date.

  In relation to the supply of timber to the processing sector, the Government is committed to developing and managing Ireland’s forestry resource in a manner which will ensure sustainable output and growth into the future. Total roundwood harvest during 2011 was approximately 2.7 million cubic metres. The All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast, published by my Department in 2011, estimates that annual net realisable roundwood volume production for the island of Ireland will increase to 6.17 million cubic metres by 2020. Of this, approximately 2.5 million cubic metres (c. 40%) is expected to come from private sector forests. These figures and particularly the increase in private timber production are excellent indicators for future growth in our forestry sector.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

 531. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will expedite the agri environment options scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54421/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st   September 2010 and full payments totalling €1,122.58 and €3,803.68 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively. Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks have been successfully completed and 75% payment totalling €2,852.55 issued to the person named dated 28 November 2012. The balancing 25% payment will issue shortly.

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 532. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding the single farm and disadvantaged area payments in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [54422/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named is an applicant under the Single Payment and Disadvantaged Area Schemes. In order to meet EU requirements, the application concerned was one of a number which was selected for inspection. The inspection and related processes are now complete and any payments due will issue shortly.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals

 533. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the estimated time the DAS Appeals Committee will take considering individual appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54432/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney When proposals were being made to the EU Commission regarding changes to the Terms and Conditions governing the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, I confirmed that provision would be made for those farmers adversely affected by the revised stocking density requirement to apply for derogation, on the basis of specific verifiable reasons. Furthermore, it was appropriate that provision also be made for an independent appeals process, in order that those, whose applications are not successful, may be afforded the opportunity to appeal my Department’s decision.

In this regard, I established the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Appeals Committee, comprising of Appeals Officers from the Agriculture Appeals Office in Portlaoise, chaired by an independent Chairman. In order to facilitate the orderly work of the Committee, a regular flow of cases has been instituted; to date, some 300 appeals have been adjudicated upon and returned. Letters advising of the outcome of these appeals are currently in the process of issuing. It is anticipated that the Committee will consider a further 250 appeals before year-end. On the basis of the volume of appeals received to date, it is reasonable to envisage the work of the DAS Appeals Committee being finalised early in 2013.

Fisheries Protection

 534. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding crawfish and the rules and regulations surrounding the catching of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54434/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Council Regulation (EC) No. 850/98 presently imposes an EU minimum landing size (MLS) for crawfish of 95mm, but was originally enacted as a MLS of 110mm. The EU Regulation was changed with effect from May 2001 to specify the present EU MLS of 95mm. The EU Regulation permits Member States to enact national measures supplementing or going beyond the minimum requirements specified in the EU Regulation, provided they are restricted to the Member State’s own fishing vessels or to persons established in that Member State.

Ireland’s Crawfish (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 232 of 2006) prohibit the landing, transhipment, retention on board, or sale of crawfish below the national minimum landing size of 110mm. Ireland enacted this higher national MLS in 2001 as it was considered that the lower EU MLS introduced in 2001 offered no conservation protection for the species which was suffering from severe over-fishing. In addition to the national MLS, the Crawfish (Fisheries Management and Conservation) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 233 of 2006) prohibit the fishing for, retention on board or landing of crawfish caught by nets in two specified areas off the coasts of Kerry and Galway.

My Department was notified in December 2010 of a complaint received through the EU PILOT system alleging that Ireland’s national regulations for the management of the crawfish stock were in breach of Council Regulation (EC) No. 850/98, were discriminatory and were anti-competitive. My Department responded in detail to the Commission refuting the allegations made and the Commission closed the PILOT case in December 2011, subject to receipt of a copy of the report of a review I had initiated of the management arrangements for Crawfish and submission to the Commission of any amending national regulations arising.

On 24 May 2011, I announced that I had asked BIM and the Marine Institute to conduct a review of Ireland’s technical conservation measures for crawfish, having regard to the negative and declining state of the crawfish stock, the undesirable by-catch of non-target and possibly protected species from the use of nets by some fishermen in fishing for crawfish, the apparent market preference for smaller crawfish, and the range of technical conservation measures for crawfish used internationally. The Review was conducted in consultation with crawfish fishermen, shellfish buyers and other stakeholders.

On 14 February 2012, I received the report of the Review, together with a more detailed scientific examination of the crawfish stock from the Marine Institute. The Review Report is available on BIM’s website. I will arrange for a copy to be sent to the Deputy. The Review Report made 7 recommendations for the future management of the stock. It concluded that a reduction in the MLS to the EU minimum level of 95mm would lead to a circa 42% reduction in the reproductive potential of the stock and therefore could not be recommended unless this loss of reproductive potential was compensated by the introduction of a maximum landing size of 120mm. This alternative measure would prohibit the landing of crawfish in excess of 120mm to create a reservoir of reproducing adult crawfish. However, the Review identified significant risks in this alternative approach and said it could be recommended only in combination with the introduction of a mechanism to monitor and effectively control and, if necessary, reduce fishing effort on crawfish and then only in areas where it has been demonstrated that there is no discard mortality of crawfish in excess of the maximum landing size. Having considered these recommendations I consider retention of the present MLS of 110mm to be appropriate at this time. In this context, it is worth noting that the Review found that 110mm is in fact the most commonly adopted MLS in Northern Europe.

The Review also emphasised the importance of retaining the crawfish netting prohibitions off Kerry and Galway and recommended that their coverage and the introduction of new closed areas be considered in 2012 in light of new or changed designations for cetaceans under the Habitats Directive. It recommended that regulations governing the closed areas (S.I. 233 of 2006) be updated to enhance enforcement and my Department is presently working on this task. Finally, it recommended the enhancement of monitoring of by-catch of cetaceans and seals in tangle nets in Natura 2000 sites.

Common Agricultural Policy Reform

 535. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he will outline the proposals, if any, he has put forward in relation to the need to put in place effective market support measures to deal with price volatility in the context of common agricultural policy reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54489/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Effective market support measures begin with an adequate budget. If we are to ensure that farmers can be supported through periods of extreme price volatility, we have to first of all ensure that the CAP is properly funded. Accordingly, I have been supporting the Taoiseach and Tánaiste in their ongoing efforts to protect the CAP to the maximum extent possible in the negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). We have said that the Commission’s proposal to freeze the CAP budget at 2013 levels in nominal terms is a reasonable starting point, and at the recent European Council the Taoiseach again strongly defended CAP funding. Ireland will continue to work with others to get the best possible CAP deal in the MFF.

As regards the market support measures themselves, the broad thrust of the Commission’s CAP reform proposals is, in my view, generally acceptable, in that the proposals strike a good overall balance in providing an effective safety net. The main support measures, including those of most relevance to Ireland, are retained, and the inclusion of exceptional measures, with flexible triggers, to overcome emergency circumstances is welcome, as are the transitional provisions which provide for the abolition of sugar quotas. However, I have stated my preference for mandatory rather than the proposed discretionary intervention for beef and veal if the trigger price is reached, and for the continuation of mandatory APS for butter rather than the discretionary mechanism proposed by the Commission, given the role of APS as an important mechanism for easing seasonal supply pressures. I have also supported colleagues who have indicated that a review of reference prices is warranted in order to bring them up to date with current market realities.

On sugar quotas, I have been very clear in my support for the Commission’s proposal to abolish quotas from 30 September 2015, but I have also made it clear that, in the event that the quota regime is extended, there should be no market control barriers to the re-establishment of the Irish sugar industry, catering for our national requirements. Another key issue on which I have expressed concern relates to the Commission’s proposals to strengthen the role of producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and interbranch organisations. While I agree that measures to strengthen the position of primary producers in the food chain are warranted, I believe we must be careful to ensure that such measures do not in any way prejudice the effective operation of the single market, which is an absolutely fundamental element both of the Treaties and of the CAP.

Disadvantaged Areas Scheme Payments

 536. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their disadvantaged area aid payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54491/12]

 537. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive their single farm payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54492/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I propose to take Questions Nos. 536 and 537 together.

The person named is an applicant under both the 2012 Single Payment Scheme and the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme. In order to meet EU requirements, the application concerned was one of a number which was selected for inspection. As soon as the inspection related processes are completed, processing of the application concerned will be finalised, with a view to payments under both schemes issuing shortly thereafter.

Youth Services Provision

 538. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if Dublin Vocational Education Committee is administering the youth grant for the entire country; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54082/12]

 546. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald regarding Student Universal Support Ireland grants to students, the reason that it was deemed necessary to give the authority to Dublin VEC to distribute Student Universal Support Ireland grants to students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53987/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 538 and 546 together.

In 2012, €39,712,927 will be distributed by my Department to 477 youth projects throughout the country. The allocations are distributed to the youth projects through 39 administering agencies/bodies that hold funding administration status. These include VECs, national youth organisations and 11 other bodies including some county councils. The City of Dublin Youth Service Board (CDYSB), a statutory board established in 1942, under the City of Dublin VEC, is one such body. The CDYSB, on behalf of City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC), has for several years, undertaken the administration of some 50 youth projects in the Dublin City area and has developed a strong track record in managing these payments.

My Department is examining the scope for streamlining tasks associated with the financial management of funding for projects to achieve greater efficiency in the administration of funding. From January 2013 it is proposed to transfer the administration of the allocated funding involving six national organisations to CDYSB. These six national bodies are currently responsible for administering funding to some 30 youth projects on behalf of my Department. The initiative is subject to the successful completion of a service level agreement between my Department and the CDVEC. The proposed revised administration process will be monitored during 2013 for efficiency and effectiveness for the Department and for the projects concerned. Subject to a successful transition to the new system it is proposed that consideration will be given to further streamlining financial processing arrangements in 2014.

It is envisaged that the successful streamlining of the administration of the funding for the youth projects will deliver benefits in terms of saving on the administration costs incurred under the present arrangements and efficiencies for both the Department and projects themselves. It is estimated that the current arrangements for distribution of grants involve an average administration charge of approximately 5% at a total funding cost of the order of €1.6m per annum.

Every effort is being made by my Department to ensure that, in the administration of the funding allocations in the present challenging budgetary situation, the focus is maintained on the provision of the front line services for young people. The VECs have a statutory role in the provision of youth services and there is no intention on the part of the Department to curtail this role. Indeed it would be the hope of the Department that, in reducing the administrative burden in relation to the funding of projects, the role of youth officers, in supporting youth projects in the delivery of a quality youth service to young people, would be strengthened. The VECs will continue to receive funding from the Department in respect of this role including for the costs of the youth officers employed by them. My Department will communicate further and hold discussions about the proposals for change with the remaining organisations that administer funding on its behalf during the course of 2013.

Psychological Services

 539. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the reason community psychology services are being moved from the Health Service Executive to the proposed Child and Family Support Agency; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [53748/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Government has given approval to the drafting of a Bill to establish the Child and Family Support Agency. Work on the preparation of the legislation is proceeding as a priority and the intention is that the Agency will be established in early 2013. In order to inform the content of the legislation the Government has decided that upon establishment the Child and Family Support Agency will have responsibility for a range of services. This includes the full range of child welfare and protection services currently operated by the HSE including family support and alternative care services. It has also been decided that due to its particular relevance domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services will also be included within the Agency's responsibilities. The Government has further decided that the new Agency will assume responsibility for the functions of both the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board. These two organisations currently operate under the aegis of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It has also been decided that the drafting of the legislation should provide for the provision of community-based psychology services to children and families by the Agency. It is envisaged that this will involve the transfer of certain psychology staff currently employed by the HSE who are operating within a community setting.

The Government's consideration of these matters was informed, inter alia, by the content and recommendations of the Report of the Task Force on the Child and Family Support Agency which I published in July of this year. The Task Force considered that the Agency needs to be as broadly based as possible and should include those services that might, in the first instance, help prevent problems arising for a family, that would identify problems and provide supports at an early stage and that would assist children and families in managing serious problems requiring specialised interventions beyond their own resources. Therefore, in addition to child welfare and protection services the Task Force considered that the core services of the new Agency must include a broad based range of universal and targeted services with an emphasis on prevention, early intervention, family support and therapeutic care interventions.

Arising from the Government's consideration and decision with regard to the functions of the new Agency it has been agreed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Health that an impact analysis will be jointly developed of the proposed future arrangements for the provision of the community psychology service as it relates to children and family services covered by the Child and Family Support Agency and to services provided by the HSE. This work will be undertaken as a priority.

I recently met with representatives from the Heads of the Psychology Services Ireland and with a delegation from the IMPACT trade union to discuss issues relating to the future governance and organisational arrangements for the provision of community based psychology services. Our shared objective is to ensure that the optimal national governance and service delivery framework is in place to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and families and other clients who need to avail of this key service. The views of the profession and its representatives will receive appropriate consideration as part of the impact analysis.

Mental Health Services Provision

 540. Deputy Simon Harris Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the Family Support Agency or any under agency under her remit provides funding to ensure that lower income families may avail of services such as psychotherapy and counselling; the level of funding available for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53900/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Family Support Agency (FSA) provides funding to support the work of voluntary and community organisations in the provision of marriage, relationship, child and bereavement counselling services. The objective is to support continuity and stability in family life. The grants support both national and local voluntary organisations in helping people to deal with difficulties they are experiencing in their relationships, to help children whose lives have been affected by parental separation and to support families who have experienced the death of a family member.

Some 600 organisations are funded by the Family Support Agency each year, including 28 major organisations that have been identified for multi-annual funding. The Family Support Agency is providing total funding of €9.413m this year under this initiative. No client is turned away because of inability to pay. The functions of the Family Support Agency will transfer into the new Child and Family Support Agency upon its establishment. One of the principal objectives of the new Agency will be to continue to develop family support services. The emphasis will be on prevention and early intervention in order to help prevent problems arising for a family and where problems are identified to provide supports at an early stage. The preparation of the legislation necessary to give effect to the establishment of the new agency is proceeding as a priority.

Youth Enterprise Initiatives

 541. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she has considered the report by Indecon for the National Youth Council of Ireland on the Economic Assessment of the Value of Youth Work; if she will ensure that the findings are taken into account in the 2013 budgetary allocations to the youth sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53943/12]

 542. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she has discussed the findings of the National Youth Council of Ireland Economic Assessment of the Value of Youth Work report with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in the context of the 2013 budgetary allocations to the youth sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [53944/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 541 and 542 together.

I welcome the recent publication of the Economic Assessment of the Value of Youth Work carried out by Indecon on behalf of the National Youth Council of Ireland. The report illustrates the breadth, depth and value of the youth work sector in Ireland. It indicates that the youth work sector received in excess of €79 million in State support in 2011 for a range of youth programmes including programmes supported by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health. The report highlights the contribution of volunteers in the youth work sector.

In 2012, funding of €56.806m has been provided by my Department to support the delivery of youth services and programmes through the different schemes which include the Youth Service Grant Scheme, the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund, Youth Information Centres, the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, the Local Drugs Force Task Scheme and certain other programmes including Gaisce- the President’s Award.

These funding schemes support national and local youth work provision and involve 1,400 paid staff and some 40,000 volunteers in 477 youth projects around the country. The National Youth Council’s report provides a comprehensive assessment of the value and contribution of youth work to the economy, to young people themselves and to the social fabric of Irish society. Its publication is timely and the finding have been brought to the attention of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

My Department is working on the determination of the funding allocations for 2013 for youth services and organisations. Having regard to the substantial savings requirements identified in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure my Department is seeking to ensure that, in the determination process for the allocations, the front line youth services, particularly those for the most vulnerable young people are protected as far as possible from the impact of any necessary reductions in funding. Furthermore, every effort is being made to ensure that the funding for local volunteer-led youth provision continues to be supported for youth clubs and groups which offer quality youth activities for some 100,000 young people throughout the country.

Youth Enterprise Initiatives

 543. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the position regarding the proposal in the submission by her Department to the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure in November 2011 to impose cuts of 10% in 2013 in the following funding schemes, special projects for youth, young people’s and facilities fund round 1 and 2, youth service grant, local drugs task force projects and the youth information centres which on top of cuts of over 20% to date will severely impact the capacity of the sector to meet the needs of young persons, especially the most disadvantaged; if she will give a commitment to protect these funding lines from cuts; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [53945/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department supports the delivery of a range of youth work programmes and services for all young people, including those from disadvantaged communities, by the voluntary youth sector. Targeted supports for disadvantaged, marginalised and at risk young people are provided through the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund Rounds 1 and 2 and Local Drugs Task Force Projects.

Funding of €56.806m has been provided to my Department to support the provision of youth services in 2012. Some 477 projects and youth services throughout the country receive support under the schemes. There are 1,400 paid staff and some 40,000 volunteers in local communities involved in the provision of these services and activities for young people.

My Department is working on the funding allocation for youth services in 2013. Having regard to the savings requirements identified in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure my Department is seeking to ensure that, in the determination process for the allocations, the front line youth services, particularly those for the most vulnerable young people are protected as far as is possible from the impact of any necessary reductions in funding. Youth Organisations and Projects will be advised of their 2013 allocations as soon as possible.

National Youth Work Advisory Committee

 544. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when she will appoint the National Youth Work Advisory Committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [53946/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In line with the Youth Work Act 2001, invitations have been sought for the appointment of a new National Youth Work Advisory Committee (NYWAC). The Committee comprises 32 members representing voluntary and statutory youth work interests and a chairperson and most nominations have now been received. I expect to announce details of the membership of the Committee shortly. The NYWAC is an important structure in advising my Department on youth work policy issues and on matters of concern to young people. The Committee will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks to consider in the first instance its Terms of Reference; these will direct the work of the Committee and will have regard to my Department's priorities in youth policy development over the coming year.

Youth Enterprise Initiatives

 545. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the amount of funding in each of the following schemes; special projects for youth, young people’s and facilities fund round 1 and 2, youth service grant, local drugs task force projects and the youth information centres that is funded through the National Lottery; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [53947/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department supports the delivery of a range of youth work programmes and services for all young people, including those from disadvantaged communities, by the voluntary youth sector. Funding of €56.806m has been provided to my Department to support the provision of youth services and programmes in 2012. Details of funding allocations in 2012 for the services requested are set-out hereunder.

Scheme 2012 Allocation
Youth Service Grant Scheme
10,928,908
Special Projects for Youth (SPY)
17,041,730
Youth Information Centres
1,424,592
Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund YPFSF(1)
6,724,964
Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund YPFSF(2)
14,606,732
Local Drug Task Force Projects (LDTF)
1,339,501
Other programmes and supports include Gaisce – The President’s Award, Leargas – The Exchange Bureau, the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, Youth Arts and Health Programmes
4,739,573

  Question No. 546 answered with Question No. 538.


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