Budget 2014: cuts to payments to young jobseekers disproportionate and unfair
Youth Council reaction to Budget 2014
Cuts to payments to young jobseekers disproportionate and unfair
Cuts to youth services less than expected , but disappointing nonetheless
Youth Guarantee: 14 million a start, much more investment needed
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), an umbrella organisation that represents voluntary youth organisations is extremely disappointed that Government has imposed swingeing cuts in social welfare payments to young unemployed people and expressed disappointment at the further reduction in funding for youth services.
Social welfare payment cuts
The organisation stated that the proposed cuts were disproportionate and placed a further burden on those already suffering at the hands of a recession they had no role in creating.
“Young people are seen as a soft target, and these proposals threaten to hit hard those most in need of support. Social welfare payments to young people under 21 are already disproportionately lower at €100 per week. These proposals would extend this lower rate to those aged 24, and also reduce payments to those under 26,” said Mary Cunningham, NYCI director.
“We agree with Minister Howlin that ‘young people should be in education and training’ however due to cuts and lack of investment there are not sufficient education and training places to meet the needs of young jobseekers. Young people can’t take up training and education opportunities if they don’t exist.”
“We do welcome the initial investment of €14m in the Youth Guarantee, we expect this is a start as this is far below what is required. We also welcome news that young jobseekers under 25 will qualify for Jobplus after 6 months unemployed rather than 12 months and that an additional 2,000 places are ringfenced for young people on Momentum,” continued Ms Cunningham.
Funding for youth services
“It is to be welcomed that the reduction in funding for youth work services will be €1 million lower than set out in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure. However, the €2 million cut will hit youth organisations very hard as they continue working on the ground to support young people from disadvantaged areas and those suffering most at the hands of this recession,” concluded Ms Cunningham.
2. About National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people, and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people. www.youth.ie
*Assessment of the Economic Value of Youth Work by Indecon Economic Consultants, November 2012