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Restore young people’s welfare rate – Senator Kathryn Reilly

14 October, 2014

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Youth Affairs, Senator Kathryn Reilly, has commended the National Youth Council of Ireland's call for the Government to restore the weekly rate of €188 for all young people on education, training and work experience programmes.

Speaking today ahead of the budget Senator Reilly said;

“The new Red C poll findings, commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland have found that almost four in ten young people are struggling to make ends meet as a result of welfare cuts.

“This is not surprising given the combination of challenges young people face now, from the cost of housing, to transport and cost of living. This is especially the case for our most vulnerable young people from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The main findings of Red C survey stated that:

“One in four of respondents surveyed is currently receiving Jobseeker's Allowance.

“Amongst respondents, there is strong disagreement with the cuts made to the Jobseeker's Allowance in previous budgets.

“Some 67% of respondents strongly disagreed with the cuts to Jobseeker's Allowance introduced in the last Budget.

“Almost four in ten young people claim they are now struggling to make ends meet.

“One in four stated that they were unable to move out of the parental home as a result of the cuts made to Jobseeker's Allowance.

“I echo the National Youth Council of Ireland Deputy Director James Doorley’s sentiment that it is wrong to discriminate on welfare payments based on age. Young people want to work and want to remain in Ireland.

“Expecting them to work 40 hours weeks for 150 euros, as it is in the case of JobBridge placements, is wrong and opportunistic of this Government.

“Sinn Féin has prioritised a number of areas for additional support in Budget 2015.  One of those is to stop the rise of hardship being felt by young people by reversing the cuts to the Jobseekers Allowance and Supplementary Welfare Allowance for the under 26s.

“This would be done over the course of two budgets, commencing with an increase of 40 euros in Budget 2015.

“I commend the National Youth Council of Ireland for commissioning this important and timely survey.”

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