Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has called on Labour TD Eamon Maloney to clarify his remarks about young people and their so called lifestyle choice of sitting at home all day watching flat screen TV's.
Crowe said that the government and its deputies need to urgently create jobs and speed up and expand initiatives aimed at tackling youth joblessness instead of blaming the unemployed. "That means creating decent jobs", he said.
Deputy Crowe said;
“Recent CSO figures released suggests that there are 2,249 people under the age of 25 unemployed in the Tallaght Social Welfare office and claiming unemployment benefit. I suspect that the unemployment figure is much higher, but many people are so disillusioned they are unsure how to claim their benefits or access supports which could help them upskill towards meaningful employment.
"Unfortunately we also know that the jobs don't exist and traditional employers in this area are long gone and empty boarded up factories are our daily reminder.
"I don't for a minute believe young people are sitting at home all day watching flat screen TVs seven days a week and given the first real opportunity at getting a decent job they would literally jump at the chance.
"I am hoping that local Labour TD Eamon Maloney was misquoted or his remarks have been misconstrued by the media in this case.
"He does, however, need to give an urgent rational explanation to the hundreds of thousands of young people trapped on the unemployment scrapheap by his and other previous governments.
“Like a lot of people I am very concerned with the slow pace of the implementation of the youth initiative and youth guarantee. I am also concerned with the low level of investment, particularly from the Irish government.
“Yes the Government needs to speed up and expand initiatives aimed at tackling youth joblessness and make full use of the European Youth Guarantee fund.
“Yes this issue needs to be one of the key priorities of the Government or we will continue to see our young people emigrate or get trapped in long-term unemployment.
"But at the end of the day if jobs are not there, it is not the fault of young people if they are forced to depend on the safety net of social welfare because there are no other realistic alternatives for them to survive.
"Eamon Maloney and others need to focus on attracting jobs and creating the conditions where the full potential of these young people is utilised and he needs to stop blaming young people for his government's failure to live up to its jobs promises."