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Youth Investment Fund

Volume 700: debated on Thursday 16 September 2021

As I am sure the hon. Member would agree, youth services play a vital role in supporting young people, and the £500 million youth investment fund remains a manifesto commitment. It builds on more than £12 billion given this year to local authorities, who have the statutory duty to allocate funding to youth services in line with their local needs. Detailed plans for the fund are subject to the 2021 spending review, which, as she knows, will be coming later in October.

Will the Minister join me in welcoming the innovation and expansion we have seen in the Scouts this week with the launch of the Squirrels, which will open up Scouting opportunities for four and five-year-olds? The sector is hugely innovative, but it is also really struggling financially. It has been two years since the £500 million youth investment fund was announced, but not a penny has been spent. Can the Minister tell the sector when it can expect that money to come forward, or whether the Government have raided our children’s piggy banks?

We all, I am sure, have Scout troops in our constituencies to which we would pay tribute, and the expansion is hugely welcome. I am afraid, as I said in my answer, that the detailed plans for the fund are subject to the 2021 spending review. I look forward to being able to talk more about those plans after the spending review.