Dáil debates

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Financial Resolutions - Budget Statement 2020

 

1:45 pm

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)

We will have more SNAs in schools than ever before. I am also providing funding for a schools package, including supports for small schools, increases in the standard and enhanced capitation rates and additional funding for school books in primary schools.

Additional funding of €190 million has been invested into the higher and further education and training sector since 2018. This has been secured through a phased increase in the National Training Fund levy. A final 0.1% increase in the levy in 2020 will enable a further €74 million investment. This investment is aimed to enable reskilling and further learning. This will complement the major investment in higher education in addition to the €300 million human capital initiative. An additional €60 million in 2020 funding will provide an estimated 3,000 additional places in priority skills areas and drive continued reform and innovation of our higher education system.

CHILDREN

I am allocating an additional €94 million to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. With this, I am increasing the allocation for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, by over €29 million. This is to support the continued reduction in the number of children per social worker and address cost pressures in private residential and foster care.

Funding for early learning and childcare will increase by €54 million. This is to support the continued provision of two years early childhood care and education, ECCE, for all children, to ensure the full participation of children with disabilities under the access and inclusion model and to support the introduction of the national childcare scheme.

PROMOTING SAFER COMMUNITIES

The Government is also delivering in the area of justice and policing. Investment in the sector will increase by €120 million in 2020, an increase of 4.7%. Next year, I am increasing the budget of An Garda Síochána by €81 million. This is to deliver up to 700 new Garda recruits.

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