Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has today been responding to the newly released Eurostat figures on youth unemployment.
Teachta Brady said:
“These Eurostat figures are extremely worrying and are in no way in line with the Government’s rhetoric of the economic recovery. Figures show that the number of young people not in education, employment or training stands at 19.7% that is compared to 11.9% in 2006.
“One of the first austerity measures taken by Fianna Fáil was to target young people by cutting their social welfare payment. They sent a clear message to young people to leave their families and their communities and to emigrate. They were not wanted.
“While this Government continue to pat themselves on the back for reducing unemployment figures, they are clearly not doing enough. There are almost 40,000 young people on the live register with 16,000 of these on the register for one year or more.
“The options for these young people are to either live on €100 per week or to emigrate. The current work schemes and programmes where a young person receives an extra €50 on their Jobseekers Allowance for working up on 40 hours per week is nothing but slave labour.
“While Fianna Fáil were quite successful in driving hundreds of thousands of young people out of this country, some still remain. These young people need to be in receipt of the full adult rate of €188 per week to allow them to have some kind of life while seeking employment. They should not be discriminated against because of their age.
“Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party have let young people down.
“Sinn Féin will continue to expose flawed work schemes as we have done with JobBridge and we will continue to call for the full restoration of social welfare payments for under 26s.”