SIPTU members and supporters staged a rally against further cuts to youth work budgets outside Dáil Eireann on Friday, 19th April. The protest by youth workers and those affected by continuing cuts to services will co-incided with Minister for Children Francis Fitzgerald’s appearance before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children. At the committee hearing Fitzgerald attempted to justify continued budget cuts to youth services.SIPTU Organiser, Paul Hansard, said: “Over the past two weeks, youth projects working in the most disadvantaged areas in Dublin have received their budget allocation for 2013, with most facing a 10% cut. These projects are funded by the Department of Children via the City of Dublin Youth Services Board.”He added: “Once again youth work has been disproportionately targeted by Government. It is impossible to maintain the delivery of a professional service when the national budget for youth programmes has been slashed by 30% since 2008. The true cost of this policy can be seen in a recent INDECON report commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland. It showed that for every €1 spent on youth work, the State saves €2.22 on other services.”Youth worker, Aishling Golding, said: “Some of the young people we work with face situations that involve exposure to drugs and violence. Youth projects are critical in helping these young people to make the right choices in their lives”.