A budget designed to force young people to emigrate
In a strange piece of doublespeak today Labour leader Eamon Gilmore tried to justify the savage cut in social welfare to people under 26 by saying:
“The place for any young person is not permanently in front of a flat screen television. It is at work, or in education and training.”
This is extremely insulting for all the young men and women who through no fault of their own cannot find employment. Insinuating they are all lazy, doing nothing and enjoying themselves with the dismal afternoon TV thrown up by the Irish networks. In reality we can’t all afford lovely flat screen televisions Mr Gilmore, nor even a monthly tv package. Especially not on €100 per week.
Has he not noticed that tens of thousands of young people have been forced to leave their families every year to find a future abroad because of the actions of this and the previous government.
He went on to to try and mitigate that quote by saying:
“This government does not blame young people for being unemployed. This government wants to help young people to get out of unemployment.”
So they don’t ‘blame them’ but they are still going to ‘punish them’ anyway by cutting their income.
There are people in this age bracket who have been working for years who suddenly find themselves unemployed. Many living in their own place with their own bills. Many have children, or are married. Yet with this sweeping cut the government seems to envisage that everyone under 26 still lives at home with their parents rent free. You would have to if you were to survive on €100 per week. Does Eamon think they should all move home?
DDI support wholeheartedly programs that encourage people to educate or retrain and help them get a start in life, but we fail to see how cutting their living standards below the poverty line encourages them to study or improves their work prospects in a hellish jobs market which is beyond their control.
It should not be forgotten that this budget also cut another €25 million from third level education on top of the ever increasing cost of college fees and reduction in grants. Education is becoming out of reach of the average person in Ireland.
There are plenty of government sponsored courses that you can attend if you have been unemplotyed long enough. However on investigation we find the ones available free to the unemployed do not give students the required level of education demanded in the jobs market. There are very few follow up courses to build on the what is learned in the initial year. This is an area where the government needs to make immediate improvements if this education and training programme is going to have any real value.
As the money continues to flow out of Ireland in bond payments we see this as just another cut to fund the bailout, dressed up in a programme to ‘help’ the young. This will only ‘help’ young people to make up their minds quicker to leave Ireland for a better future in a place where they are valued. The government no doubt thinks it will be great for the unemployment figures.
It would be interesting to see whether this would stand up to scrutiny against EU discrimination rules?