Budget announced today is at best a ‘non-event’ – a ‘do little budget’ for young people.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents youth groups working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has expressed disappointment at what it has termed a ‘mean-spirited and discriminatory’ budget that unfairly singles out the young.
According to James Doorley, NYCI deputy director: “The decision of Government to single out young people on already low rates of €100 and €144 jobseekers allowance for lower weekly increases of just €2.70 and €3.80 is mean-spirited, miserly and further entrenches discrimination.
“We welcome the fact that youth unemployment is declining, however at 16% it is still at over twice the pre-crisis rate. It is challenging for many to secure work, and while €5 a week extra is not a lot, it is dispiriting to see young people further discriminated against with these meagre increases,” said Mr Doorley.
“We are further disappointed that there is no reference, based on the information released to date, to increased funding for the youth guarantee or increased education and training allowances for young people on education, training and work experiences programmes,” added Mr Doorley.
“We welcome the additional €132m of current expenditure for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. While full details have not been announced, we call for €5m of that allocation, as detailed in our Pre-Budget Submission, to support the expansion of Youth Work Services as outlined in the Programme for Government.
“The minor reductions in the USC are welcome, particularly for young workers on low wages and in precarious employment. Likewise the small increase in the minimum wage of 10c to €9.25 per hour is a step in the right direction, particularly since 40% of those on the minimum wage are young people under 30. But more needs to be done to address poor quality employment and low incomes. We also hope that the small changes to schemes such as the Rent a Room scheme will increase supply and not lead to an increase in rents,” continued Mr Doorley.
“In summary, where the Government had the opportunity to do the decent thing and at the very least increase support for young jobseekers in line with others, they chose the discriminatory and mean-spirited option. Aside from this decision, the budget from a youth perspective can be best described as a non-event and a budget which will “do little” for the growing youth population in Ireland,” concluded Mr Doorley.
Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI firstname.lastname@example.org 087 781 4903
Notes to Editors:
* Full Post Budget 2017 Analysis: NYCI-Post-Budget-2017-Analysis.pdf
*NYCI Pre-Budget Submission 2017 “Youth Rising: Achieve Ireland’s Full Potential” available here: https://www.youth.ie/nyci/NYCI-Pre-Budget-Submission-2017
Indecon Report: Assessment of the Economic Value of youth Work:
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