In a statement, People Before Profit has labeled Budget 2016 as having nothing in it for disadvantaged young people.
What we should have seen in this budget is the restoration of the Jobseekers rate of €188 to all Jobseekers under the age of 26. What we see now is the continuation of young Jobseekers trying to live off inadequate income.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) have said that ‘overall, this budget neglected to support and respond in an adequate manner to the needs of young people’. Indeed, we can see that youth unemployment in this country is at 20.6% for under 25s. This doesn’t even take into account the young people that have been forced to emigrate from this country. The NYCI also point out that 30,400 young people emigrated in 2015, with 223,600 under 25s leaving since the crisis began in 2008. These people have left because there is no hope for them here.
The fact that there is no rent certainty in this budget shows the attitude of this government. This is a government of the landlords. Young people with inadequate incomes are having a terrible time with regards to the increasing cost of living and rents that are going out of control. We have a housing crisis and without rent certainty we are going to see many more people being plunged into homelessness. A huge proportion of these will be young people.
In this state we have 1,500 children experiencing homelessness. For the government to not address homelessness in a meaningful way in this budget is a disgrace and it will have major negative effects on the youth in our society. This government have consistently chipped away futures of young people. We need to ask ourselves what kind of a country we want to live in. Either we can have a country as we do now, for the bankers and developers to get rich again, or we can choose a country that looks after its youth and all the other vulnerable groups in our society.