The provision for youth work in Budget 2023 is not sufficient for a sector that is hard hit by the cost-of-living crisis, according to the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).

It said organisations are reporting increases in deprivation among young people, increased demand for services and a diminished ability to deliver services.

It expressed deep disappointment in the 1.6% increase in funding - for a sector that works with an estimated 380,000 young people.

The Department of Children and Youth allocated €74 million to youth services in Budget 2023, which it said was an increase of €2.4m.

However, the NYCI said the increase would not allow organisations to meet inflationary pressures.

"We have warned against young people being ignored in this budget. Such a limited increase when core inflation will be 5.25% for 2023, shows youth work has been overlooked and is facing an effective cut," it said.

The organisation welcomed a number of measures that will benefit younger people including Minister Simon Harris' measures to reduce third-level contribution charges by €1,000 and a double SUSI grant payment.

However, it said it was awaiting further clarity on whether contribution fees would be reduced for apprenticeships.

A recent RED C survey carried out by the NYCI showed that over seven in ten young people are considering leaving Ireland for a better quality of life.

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