Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Youth Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly today raised, with the Troika, the devastating effects of youth unemployment and emigration and the need for immediate action to tackle it.
“I took the opportunity to tell the Troika in no uncertain terms that a society with youth unemployment running at 30% and tens of thousands of young people emigrating ever year is not a sustainable society.
“I directly asked the European Commission what further actions they propose in this field given that President Barroso’s “action team” sent earlier this year to look for solutions has achieved only the slightest effect if any.
“The Commission’s proposal on a youth guarantee has been mentioned but there are no details to it yet and it now seems it will have little or no financial muscle. It is worrying too that this week the French and Austrian governments pointed to the possibility of a Youth Guarantee being funded by a Financial Transaction Tax, something which the Irish government has said it will not sign up to.
“I will follow up my queries with the Troika and the Commission in particular but I am under no illusion that the issue of youth unemployment is in their power to solve.
“Nevertheless, their insistence on austerity has given the Irish government an excuse not to act on youth unemployment. The Sinn Fein delegation pressed this point on the Troika and they were left in no doubt in our view that prioritising the tackling of youth unemployment and emigration is not a choice, it’s a necessity.”