People Before Profit launch Manifesto on Youth and Equality

Systematic discrimination against young people driving them from this country

pbp youthPeople Before Profit today launched their manifesto on Youth and Equality. Ireland is a very unequal society and discrimination against young people is endemic in government policy. This government policy and systemic inequality is driving our young people out of this country. People Before Profit have a different vision for our society. We want a society where young people can fulfill their lives; where young people can work and live with dignity. 

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said “This country has systemic discrimination against young people etched into its very fabric. Inequality amongst the youth of this nation is rife and it is quite clear that the political establishment do not understand the needs of our youth. “youth manifesto

Discrimination is officially inscribed in state policy through a number of mechanisms. First, new entrants – who will tend to be younger- are paid less for doing the same work. Someone who starts work as a nurse, teacher, guard or administrative workers is paid less than those who started before January 1st 2011. They are doing the exact same work and there is no justification for this discrimination. (Originally it was 10% less pay but even after some ‘consolidation’ it remains less) Second, there is discrimination in pension provision. Young people have to work longer before retirement and get a ‘career average pension’ as against a pension based on final year of service. Third, young people are discriminated against in social welfare rates.

“The HSE is a disaster due to the for-profit health system that this government have prioritised. This system is not only horrendous for patients who have to avail of it but also our health staff. 95% of newly qualified student nurses say they will emigrate abroad because they do not see any prospects for themselves in this country. What we need to do is employ 10,000 nurses in the HSE and reopen the beds that the government have closed. We need to make work pay for these nurses and we need proper working conditions for nurses so that they can deliver the best quality of healthcare to patients.

“Through their policy, this government is literally driving our young people out of the country. This is a disgrace and has to stop.”

Cllr Bríd Smith said “The presence of the 8th Amendment is a blight on this country because it denies women the same rights as men. Men have full bodily autonomy and can make whatever choice they like with their bodies- women are not afforded this basic right. 4,000 women go to the UK for abortions every year- this does not take into account those who go elsewhere or take an abortion pill. We are calling for a full repeal of the 8th Amendment and for a referendum to take place in 2016.

“We would implement a new curriculum of sexual education in schools that would be based on facts and not religious morality”.

Annette Mooney said “Wealth inequality is growing substantially in Ireland. We can see this affecting young people because of the casualisation of work and the enforcement of zero-hours contracts. JobBridge and other schemes force young people to work for little or nothing. 52% of young people were found to have felt exploited by the JobsBridge scheme and only 27% of people found full time employment after it. We are saying very clearly that work must pay and our young people must be given proper jobs with proper hours, pay and conditions. 

“Fine Gael have totally endorsed the idea of student loans. We are opposed to this because it will lead to higher student fees, it saddles young people with huge debt and will involve extra pay outs to the banks as the state will guarantee these loans and there is a high default rate. We need education to be free at the point of use and funded through progressive central taxation, proper corporate tax and other such measures.”