News & Events
Peter McVerry Trust has given a cautious welcome to Budget 2014 and has said it looks forward to receiving more information on the proposed social impact investment scheme which it views as a positive development.
Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We are glad that the Minister for Education has secured a commitment that class sizes will not increase further and that new teachers will be hired in 2014. These measures will help keep vulnerable young people in education longer and reduce the likelihood of them ending up homeless.”
“The provision of free GP care to under 5s will be extremely helpful to children of adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness who could not afford to access a GP. However, we do have concerns that the universal nature of this free GP care has created costs that could have otherwise been directed towards assisting vulnerable groups.”
“However, the decisions to target young people, and in particular those on the margins by reducing funding for youth work programmes and payments made through the Job Seekers Allowance is disappointing. Youth work programmes are particularly important in disadvantaged areas and can help prevent people ultimately using drugs, or ending up homeless or in prison. The reduction in the Job Seekers Allowance will mean that the numbers of young people who rely on our services will undoubtedly increase. We worked with over 1,000 young people aged 25 or under in 2012, many of whom were in receipt of social welfare payments but due to the cost of basic living expenses such as food, utilities and rent they were reliant on us for support. The cut in rates to new recipients up to the age of 25 will mean that more young people will come to rely on homeless services to survive”
“The measures announced in the area of housing are very small scale and are not at the level required to tackle homelessness or the social housing problem. The construction of 500 social housing units is a token gesture given the scale of those on our waiting lists but it is perhaps an important nod to the principle that social housing has a role to play in any future housing policy.”
“We welcome the new pilot Social Impact Investment in the area of housing for homeless families but require further information. In particular the financing of this scheme, the returns that private finance will expect, the amount of funding that will be available, and the risks that charities will have to bear. We will also be eager to see if the scheme will be restricted to homeless families or broadened to include homeless individuals who make up the majority of the homeless population.”
“In the UK there are a number of similar schemes in operation and they have proved to be extremely arduous and complex to set up, with investors in London receiving a return of 6.5% if targets are met. Those schemes are in the very early stages and very few results or lessons have been gleaned from them. We look forward to meeting with the Minister for Housing and Planning to learn more about the proposed pilot.”