Sinn Féin’s Dublin EU candidate Lynn Boylan has today described the Labour party’s hypocrisy on youth employment as galling with over 85,000 under 35’s having left this state since the party entered government.
Speaking during a canvass in Tallaght where unemployment is particularly high the Sinn Féin EU candidate said: “Since Labour took up the reins of government the numbers of young people in work have decreased, social welfare supports for the under 25’s have been cut by a third, apprenticeship fees have been introduced, newly qualified social workers are facing poverty wages under the proposed graduate scheme and emigration remains the only option for far too many.
“Dublin MEP Emer Costello voted against increasing the EU’s budget allocation for youth employment measures, and Labour in government is eroding any sense of hope for our young people and as we can see with the emigration figures they are voting with their feet.
“Casualisation of work is on the rise with zero hour contracts becoming more prevalent and wages have decreased so far from giving a voice to young people Labour have in fact attacked them at every turn.
“Labour’s Joan Burton is championing cheap labour schemes like Gateway and JobBridge, and the Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has imposed apprenticeship and third level fees.
“The dog in the street knows Labour sees young people as a soft target to pay for their deeply inequitable fiscal and social policies in government. 85,000 under 35’s have left this state since Labour entered government and no amount of conferences Emer Costello hosts can shield her from the facts.
“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 decent work. Youth employment pilot schemes are not what are required in a crisis. What we need is a state-wide youth guarantee to be designed and rolled out as a matter of urgency.
“Labour has had three years in government. Not only have they failed to improve opportunities for our young people they have managed to make things a hell of a lot worse.
“Poverty wages for graduates, increased education and training costs and bottom of the barrel social protection supports are now the norm. Any hope of an ambitious youth guarantee scheme is slipping away.
“Be it in Dublin or Brussels young people need political representatives who fight their corner and invest in their future. Labour in government and in the EU has failed young people on both fronts.”