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Ongoing effects of austerity on young people highlighted in Brussels as Budget is announced in Dublin

14 October, 2014 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan attended a Hearing on Youth & Employment which took place in the European Parliament buildings today.

Taking part in the Hearing were a number of MEPs and young trade union shop stewards from different sectors and different member states. The shop stewards spoke of their own experiences of work and austerity in the workplace, the impact of labour immigration on their communities, training opportunities and the role trade unions could have to improve their situations.

Commenting after the Hearing, the Sinn Féin MEP said:

"While government Ministers at home were already cheering and high-fiving each other before today's budget had been announced, it would have been a reality check for them had they been able to listen to young workers from all over Europe, including Ireland, speak in Brussels today.

"It was clear from today's Hearing that economic policies dominated by austerity are forcing young people into unwanted jobs and precarious employment throughout the EU. There is little employment available and when available there is little security in that employment.

"Young people and their families are also devastated by the scourge of emigration. It is not only Ireland that has suffered in this regard but as the poster-boy for austerity we are certainly the worst affected.

"Questions were raised today over EU measures such as youth guarantees which have so far failed to provide the quality guarantees needed by young people. Europe needs to address this matter urgently.

"It was agreed that to assist young people in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe it is clear that more dialogue is required between those on the ground (such as trade union representatives) and MEPs and other politicians. We cannot ignore the plight of young people. We need to discuss these issues with them. We need to work with young people and in particular we must support the campaign created by youth trade union representatives 'Enough of their crisis, back to our future'  which is working to improve working conditions and reducing youth unemployment in Europe. In Ireland there should be a restoration of full benefits for young people.

"As Michael Noonan was announcing his budget today, Brussels was highlighting the negative effects of austerity on our young people."

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