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Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth | Department funding

To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the extent to which the funds available to his Department remain adequate to meet whatever challenges may arise, for whatever reason in the course of the next twelve months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

In terms of my Department’s 2022 spending, I am currently seeking additional funding for my Department for 2022 principally to cover the additional costs arising in relation to the Ukraine response and due to the increased numbers of International Protection applicants arriving in the State. In this regard, I am bringing a supplementary estimate to the Dáil which has been agreed by the relevant Select Committee on 12 October 2022 and will be moved in the Dáil next week.
As the Deputy will be aware, my Department has been at the forefront of Government measures  to accommodate Ukrainians fleeing the war in their home country. At the same time, my Department has also had to deal with providing accommodation and services for increasing numbers of migrants seeking international protection.  These twin demands have and will continue to be challenging for my Department and for the wider system.

In terms of the 2023 spending, I have recently secured a budget of €2.44 billion for my Department for 2023 as part of the Budget Estimates process. This represented an increase of €403 million over the 2022 allocation, and for the first time, my Department is in a position to invest more than €1 billion in early learning and care and school aged childcare.

As part of the Revised Estimates process, it is intended to agree further adjustments for the costs in 2023 of the continued response to the Ukrainian crisis, international protection and the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme.

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