SDLP Education Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has welcomed the decision not to proceed with a number of planned cuts to youth services and early years programmes.
The Department of Education has announced it is not proceeding with the cuts.
Mr McCrossan said it was deeply regrettable that community and voluntary groups were left in limbo while the decision was taken.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“The decision not to proceed with these cuts by the department is welcome not only for the thousands of vulnerable children and young people across the North who depend on these services, but for the hundreds of staff who work so hard each and every day in our community and voluntary sector who faced an uncertain future had these cuts gone ahead. They should never have been placed in this extremely difficult position and I hope that they will now be able to continue on with their excellent work without further disruption.
“Despite this decision we cannot lose sight of the fact that many incredibly harmful cuts are still going ahead, including to holiday hunger payments, school counselling and other important initiatives. Children are literally going to be left hungry and without important mental health support as a result of the austerity budget that has been imposed on us by the Tories and the DUP’s continued Stormont boycott.
“If we could get the institutions restored there is the potential that we could oppose and mitigate the harmful cuts that are still going ahead. Stormont will not solve all our problems, but I can guarantee that my SDLP colleagues and I would fight tirelessly against anything that would harm vulnerable children and young people. The writing is on the wall and the DUP need to step up, look at the difficult situation facing many families here and get back to work in a restored Assembly and Executive.”