Youth Council welcomes report confirming welfare recipients better off with job
Proves welfare cut to young in budget unnecessary
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), the umbrella body that represents youth organisations, has today (22.10.13) welcomed Government research that estimates at least 75% of people would have a higher income if working, stating that this contradicts the Government’s recent claims that young people were in a welfare trap.
“We welcome this report as it disproves the Government’s earlier assertion that welfare payments for those under 25 years are a disincentive to work. In reality, where young people can secure a job there are strong financial incentives to do so,” stated James Doorley, NYCI deputy director.
“The issue is not that young people are unwilling to work, or slow to take up places in education and training; the problem is that there are simply not enough job opportunities or training places available,” continued Mr Doorley.
Prior to the recent budget changes a young person aged 23-24 years was in receipt of €144 per week and those aged 25 in receipt of €188. New proposals would reduce this to €100 and €144 per week respectively.
“The majority of young jobseekers do not claim secondary benefits so this is the maximum payment they receive. Even if they were to take up a job on minimum wage rates they would have a weekly take home pay (minus USC) of €329. So there is a clear financial incentive for young jobseekers to take up employment: even when paid minimum wage rates compared to existing welfare payments as 23-24 year olds would receive an additional €185 per week and those aged 25 an extra €141 per week.”
Not enough opportunities
“We estimate that these proposed cuts will impact on at least 20,853* young jobseekers in 2014 based on those already on the live register, not taking into account the new claimants aged 22-25 years from January 2014. From our analysis of the Budget measures, Government is providing an additional 3,250 places on Tús, Momentum and JobBridge as it is not possible to say how many places will be created on JobPlus.
“Therefore 20,853 young people are being “incentivised” into a guaranteed extra 3,250 places. We support activation into quality and meaningful education, training and work experience opportunities – but young people cannot access places that do not exist.”
Youth Guarantee – much more needed
“The allocation of an initial €14 million for the Youth Guarantee in Budget 2014 is welcome; however it represents 5% of the estimated annual cost of a comprehensive youth guarantee scheme. While exact estimates on the cost of implementation of the youth guarantee in Ireland are difficult, NYCI estimated in early 2013 that full implementation would cost in the region of €273million** per annum based on the number of young people unemployed for six months or more,” concluded Mr Doorley.
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
*Dáil Question 321 September 24th 2013