25 Oct 2005

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, today welcomed the Government’s announcement of an extra £25m investment in services for children in each of the next two years.

The Secretary of State, Peter Hain MP, outlined the cash injection to children’s services as he announced the Government’s draft Northern Ireland budget for 2006-2008.

The Commissioner said the extra finances for children’s services were an important commitment from Government.

“I have been campaigning for this for some time, along with many others,” said Mr Williams. “Many people were dismayed when vital funding for children’s services disappeared in last year’s draft budget.

“I have lobbied Government for the investment announced today and believe this is an important first step to help redress the balance.”

Mr Williams said he would be looking closely at the Government’s planned expenditure on children in health, education and other areas to assess the impact.

“I believe this announcement will have a positive impact on children’s lives” said the Commissioner. “But there are many areas that children and young people are concerned about and I will want to see how far the Secretary of State’s announcement goes to addressing those concerns.”

Notes for Editors

More information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People can be found at: www.niccy.org