Fine Gael and Labour failing young people - Adams
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has accused the government of ‘failing our young people and forcing many of them to emigrate’ after the government voted against Sinn Féin’s PMB in the Dáil tonight.
In our motion Sinn Féin demanded the provision of an adequately funded Youth Guarantee Scheme; to make it a priority and to reverse the cuts to the basic rate of Jobseekers Allowance.
Speaking during the debate on the Sinn Féin Private Members Motion in the Dáil tonight (Wednesday) Gerry Adams said:
“In recent weeks I have attended events in London and New York which attracted large numbers of the diaspora. I met young Irish people who have been forced to emigrate as a result of the disastrous policies of last Fianna Fáil government and the austerity policies being implemented by this Fine Gael and Labour government. Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour are our own indigenous Troika.
“The young citizens scattered across the globe don’t want to be away from their families. They didn’t want to leave their friends and community. Many rightly believe that the government is using forced emigration as a matter of policy.
“The average level of youth unemployment within Europe is 23.5%. In this state we have 28% youth unemployment. The Youth Guarantee Scheme is supposed to help tackle this. However it does not guarantee jobs. And this highlights a major disconnect: jobs are a consequence of economic growth. If there is no growth, there will be no new jobs. And all of the apprenticeships and training schemes in the world will not create jobs.
“Last month’s 2014 budget your government took almost a third of the job seekers allowance from young people under 25. The Tánaiste claimed that the government wasn’t really cutting benefits and that this would encourage young people into employment. It is more likely that this measure will encourage emigration!
“It is a fact that 300,000, mainly young people have been forced to emigrate over the last four years – that’s 1700 every week. There are 18,000 less young people in paid employment today than when this government took office; and two and a half years after it came to power the numbers on the live register have fallen by only 0.2 per cent from 13.5% to 13.3%.”
Concluding Teachta Adams said:
“Youth unemployment is a crisis. The government needs to implement a real plan – a viable jobs creation strategy connected to a practical apprenticeship, education and training programme. The government pretends that there isn’t a problem and that the government’s strategy is working. The young emigrants tell a different story. Their families and communities – the victims of austerity - tell a different story.”