A budget designed to force young people to emigrate

A budget designed to force young people to emigrate

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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?

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8 Comments

  • Posted October 17, 2013

    Alan Biesty

    Dear DDI,
    Having come from the status of being self employed and now finding myself being relegated to the ranks of the surplice to requirement but a dab hand around the house. I find myself even further “disillusioned” not just with the budget and the slice and grab approach they have taken but the road we find ourselves as a Nation being lead down. I have to ask the obvious question; “Where the hell is our destination going to be?” Have we been so caught up with matters inside the bus that we haven’t bothered to look out the windows? Is it too late to turn back?
    If our ability to borrow is based on our GDP why are we hell bent on only securing Direct foreign investment? Have those assigned this mandate outgrown the original aims of their brief? We have seen large companies like those, come to our shores take what they could and I have to say given employment but when this no longer pleased them they left leaving a large hole behind. What’s wrong with us developing our own internal industries? Smaller if need be but give them the tools to grow first of all and not by dumping mountains of obstacles in their path. When they do grow we as a nation could grow with them.When did we have to become so dependent on others? Not pointing out the obvious but we are an Island and were independent at one stage. It seems like we are now a suburb of Europe with them in our pockets, our fires and our septic tanks.
    All this talk of jobs, jobs, jobs. “The government does not create jobs” “The government is creating 3000 jobs a month” “The government is great!” Irrespective of what they are or are not doing Ireland is loosing some of its brightest and not to mention the gap they are creating in the life cycle of an economy. Are we going to be left with main cities a few big towns and little else? Towns and villages decimated? The budget appears to be manipulating sections of our demographic by crippling their personal budgets. “Sew up your pockets” As Minister Noonan scoffed to a citizen. Is further education the answer? One of my friends is now on his fifth career path with qualifications in a further two. Is he the exception? Then there is the dread of the internship as a solution to the likes of him, another can of worms here. Maybe a further breakdown of the billions we are borrowing to see where exactly every cent is going and are we as a people getting the best value for that money.
    All in all DDI these questions I feel need to be answered, when and by whom? I don’t know but I would love to hear your perspective on the budget and the jobs situation.
    Regards Alan Biesty

    • Posted October 17, 2013

      Admin D

      Totally agree with your sentiments
      Multinationals only employ a tiny minority of people in this country but they get all the government plaudits and the tax breaks
      We believe Ireland can only flourish on indigenous industry and one of the goals we have is to make business easier especially regarding business rates that are crippling. There was one good bit of news in the budget which was that people starting a new business can be income tax exempt for the first two years up to a salary of 40,000. Though it would probably take 2 years to even get to a salary like that after first building up a market. I have a feeling that it will not cost the exchequer a whole lot in the end but will reduce the dole queue. Let’s be positive though and hope some people get it off the ground.

      You are right, we also believe government cannot create jobs. A government job is simply a drain on state funds and taxes. All they can do is create the right enviroment for people to trade. that’s what we must do.

  • Posted October 17, 2013

    Gerard Flood

    Totally agree with the policy statement at the end of the Article. I would not be classified as a young person, but i think back to the late 70s and 80s when I use to send off applications only to get a reply back saying I needed 2 years experience. Thank god that has moved on now but i feel for the young of today to be blamed for the crimes of their elders especially the elder politicians who will not be standing for the next election but running for the hills with their fat pensions just like the last lot did.

    • Posted October 17, 2013

      Admin D

      They might be running for Europe

      • Posted October 18, 2013

        Frank McKeown

        We want a running for the Irish people. Europe can sit on the back burner.

  • Posted October 17, 2013

    John O’Donoghue

    There does need to be a balance between providing for people who can’t find work and not making it too comfortable for those who don’t want to work. Whether we like to hear it or not, there are too many stories of people deciding that the gap between social welfare and a job is not enough to make taking the job worthwhile. I know that the situation is complicated by other aspects such as losing medical cards etc and these factors need to be addressed too.

    • Posted October 17, 2013

      John O’Donoghue

      BTW I agree with Alan’s remarks above about the very one sided approach to job creation here in Ireland. We become very dependent on the big multi nationals coming in. The Government are trying to do something about this through initiatves such as the NDRC, but more needs to be done in manufacturing and the food industry to get more startup indiginous firms.

  • Posted October 18, 2013

    John O’Donoghue

    Just watched the Vincent Brown clip with Stephen Donnelly and I now think that the cut in social welfare to young people is perhaps done with the incentive to get them to leave. The sooner we adopt something like a Basic Income system backed up by a reasonable cost of living index the better. I voted FG in the last General Election (but DDI in the by-election) and I can’t see myself voting FG again. They give you the distinct impression they are working for someone else.

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