Dáil Éireann - Volume 492 - 09 June, 1998

Written Answers. - Youth Services.

234. Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Education and Science the funding allocation, if any, by his Department to the YMCA; the percentage increase in funding on 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13364/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): The funding allocation for the provision of youth services in 1997 and 1998 for the YMCA is £72,100. Unfortunately, due to the high level of ongoing commitments, it has not been possible in the current year to provide for increases in the level of grant aid made available to individual organisations and initiatives. However, additional funding is being sought for 1998, and in the event of such funding becoming available the level of funding support to youth organisations generally will be reviewed.

The YMCA also receives assistance from the European Social Fund via my Department for the delivery of their Support, Training and Enterprise Programme — STEP. A total of £269,344 has been allocated for this programme in the current financial year. This represents a decrease in punt terms of 7.57 per cent on the 1997 allocation, which is directly attributable to a fluctuation in the ECU — punt exchange rate.