Youth Council urges Government to reconsider dole payment cuts for young unemployed
Young people hardest hit by recession
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), an umbrella organisation that represents voluntary youth organisations, has appealed to Government to step back from proposed swingeing cuts in social welfare payments to young unemployed people.
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.
Hardest hit by recession
“The suggestion that young people are caught in a ‘welfare trap’ where work is unattractive is belied by the reality that young people have in fact been hardest hit by this recession. Over 177,000 young people have emigrated since 2008 and youth unemployment today is at almost 29% compared to just over 13% in 2008. Ireland also has the 4th highest rate of young people ‘not in education, employment or training’ in the EU.”* continued Ms Cunningham.
“We need to work to provide more opportunities for these young people, not cut their supports. We are urging the Government to reconsider these proposed cuts in social welfare payments to young unemployed people,” 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