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Dickson Welcomes the DfE's Decision to Safeguard Youth Programmes Amid Fiscal Constraints

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has welcomed the Department for Education’s decision to preserve funding for Youth Services and Early Intervention programs amidst severe budget constraints proposed by the Secretary of State.

Mr Dickson said: “This step secures the future of Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable children and young people. While this decision brings relief, it only represents initial progress. It’s imperative that the DUP return to Stormont as an engaged political contributor.”

“The Permanent Secretary’s resolution to maintain support for these essential services is more of a fundamental necessity than a victory. While it’s a significant relief that the proposed cuts will not be implemented, the anxiety these plans stirred within the sector, which heavily relies on these services, has been horrific.”

He continued: “Complacency has no place in our current situation. Alliance is ready to confront the difficult decisions of the present and the challenges that lay ahead, but a functional government is needed – one that is not just present, but actively engaged in the policy making process that shapes our future and that of our youngest generation.

“Our children and young people deserve a future where their opportunities are limitless, not limited. Alliance will continue to push forward and shape a brighter future for Northern Ireland.”

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