Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth | Meeting challenges with funds allocated to the department
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.
The Revised Estimates for Public Services 2023, published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, detail gross expenditure of almost €3.3 billion in respect of my Department for 2023. These Estimates have just been approved by Select Committee and will be voted on in the Dáil shortly. This allocation represents an increase of €463m (16%) over the 2022 Supplementary Estimate 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. This allocation also provides for a range of key services to children and young people, including those delivered by Tusla, and funding towards gender equality, human rights, LGBTI+ issues, Traveller and Roma issues, migrant integration and disability policy and youth services.
Provision has also been made for the continued response to the Ukrainian crisis, to increased demand from applicants for international protection and for the set up costs to establish the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme. Further funding will be required on the opening of the Scheme, in order to provide for financial payments and medical cards for survivors and former residents.
My officials and DPER are working closely on monitoring the expenditure position across my Department on an ongoing basis, including in relation to ongoing monitoring of the demands arising from the war in Ukraine.
As the Deputy will be aware, officials of my Department are currently working with officials in the Department of Health to make appropriate arrangements for the transfer of Specialist Community Based Disability Services and related allocation. I can assure the Deputy that, throughout the year, through engagement with DPER, I am committed to ensuring that sufficient resources are available to my Department to meet challenges likely to arise, across the broad spectrum within the area of my Ministerial responsibility.
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