Government figures on unemployment not consistent with reality

Jobsbridge and labour activation schemes have to go; work must pay

People Before Profit TD, Gino Kenny, has said in a statement that the governments figures for unemployment of 8.6% are illusory and not consistent with the facts on the ground.

According to the CSO the youth unemployment rate was 19% in January 2016.

Deputy Kenny also alluded to the issues that contribute to this figure- mass emigration, labour activation schemes and the casualisation of work is driving our youth from this country. There is blatant discrimination against the youth of this country in the form of the reduced job seekers allowance.

Deputy Kenny said “Ireland is no country for young people. Young people feel that there is no hope and no future for them in Ireland.  The youth in this country have been brutally affected by the austerity policies of the last government. The Fine Gael/Labour government, when taking office, promised a democratic revolution. They did the exact opposite, they sold the out the youth of our nation.

Deputy Kenny pointed to the issues facing young people in this country. “Mass emigration, 35,000 people per year; the cost of rents, college fees and the cost of living and precarious work are draining Ireland of our youth.

Deputy Kenny said “the reduced job seekers for under 25s is discriminatory. It makes the assumption that people under the age of 25 need less money for food, rent and other living expenses.

We have been told time and time again that we are in recovery. This is not true if you are a newly quailed nurse or a new teacher. 95% of newly qualified nurses choose to leave Ireland once they are qualified, this is unacceptable.”

Deputy Kenny pointed to the disaster that is Jobsbridge. “Jobsbridge is a scam which has been exposed. Companies using Jobsbridge have been taking on essentially free labour instead of hiring people and paying them a wage. These interns do the exact same work as regular employees. This is an attack on young people and worker’s rights which have been hard won over years of struggle.

We have seen in the Irish Examiner today that some of these interns have been bullied and verbally abused in their internships. I think the Department of Social Protection should release the names of these companies. Employers like these are the exact same as Transdev who are behaving disgracefully in regards to the striking Luas workers. They are bullies who knowingly exploit workers.

What should be done is that Jobsbridge should be abolished. Young workers should be given work that pays properly. This would be a good thing for the country because people with more disposable income will spend that money in the local economy.”