Sinn Féin’s Dublin EU candidate Lynn Boylan has this evening launched a stinging attack on Labour’s MEP for Dublin Emer Costello accusing her of doublespeak when it comes to tackling youth unemployment. Both the Labour MEP and her Fine Gael counterpart Gay Mitchell recently voted against increasing EU funding for youth employment measures.
The Sinn Féin Dublin candidate for next year’s EU elections said:
“Emer Costello talks the talk of a youth guarantee but absolutely fails to walk the walk when it comes to providing employment and training opportunities for Dublin’s young people.
“The Labour MEP makes all the right noises, but the reality is her party’s record on tackling youth unemployment is dismal.
“Fianna Fáil first cut Jobseeker payments for the under 25’s in 2009. Back then Labour in opposition accused the Fianna Fáil led government of making young people pay for recession. Fast forward to 2013 and Labour is making a bad situation worse for our young people.
“Official youth unemployment is at 30% and there are 16,700 less young people employed than when Labour and Fine Gael came into government in 2011.
“Government’s Budget 2014 announcements promised a meagre 4,500 additional training places and last year Labour promised 10,000 training places for the under 25’s but delivered just 5,500. Young people do not even feature in the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s recently announced package of job creation measures.
“Fine Gael and Labour’s record on youth employment is not much better in the EU parliament. Both Emer Costello and Gay Mitchell recently voted against increasing the EU’s budget allocation for youth employment measures. Be it in Europe or here at home Labour and Fine Gael are failing young people.
“Sinn Féin’s Budget 2014 measures include a proposal to ring-fence wealth tax income for jobs for young people. This would provide the necessary scale of investment to get our young people into appropriate training and back into work.
“The National Youth Council has highlighted the Swedish model as the preferred option for Ireland. This would cost €6,600 per person, or approximately €400 million, which would be provided by a combination of Exchequer funding and matched funding from the EU (the EU had promised a level of matched funding for youth guarantee funds).
“The Government is running a pilot youth guarantee project in Ballymun, the expected cost of which is €302,279, of which €250,000 is being sought from the EU. Sinn Féin wants to see a state-wide guarantee to be designed and rolled out immediately, rather than wait for a six-month pilot to be completed and evaluated. This is a crisis that needs an intervention now.
“Labour’s record on tackling youth unemployment is rubbish. If Emer Costello is serious about progressing a youth guarantee supported by the EU she needs to turn her attention to what her party could and should be doing for the young people of Dublin.”