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Budget neglects young people and low income workers - Senator Reilly

14 October, 2014

Speaking this evening during Statements on Budget 2015, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly criticised the Budget for its failure to provide for young people seeking work as well as low-income workers.

Senator Reilly said:

“The Minister said the rate of job creation in Ireland was one of the fastest in Europe. However there are 28,000 less young people in employmentsince Labour and Fine Gael entered Government.

“Young people fill the slots of low paid and precarious employment. And according to numerous surveys they’re leaving Ireland for lack of options. They can’t get footing in a decent career here. 

“As somebody from the generation who since adulthood had known nothing but austerity I am furious that the weekly rate of €188 for all young people on education, training and work experience programmes is not being restored. 

“Welfare rates for young people cut in successive budgets should be reversed. Sinn Féin would restore equality and scrap the brutal Job Bridge programme replacing it with real programmes and real jobs. Nor will we increase the fees for college again this year.

“Low income earners continue to be neglected by Fine Gael and Labour Budgets. One in five workers earns below the living wage of €11.45 per hour (300,000). That’s 14% of a current Ministers salary.

“Income tax changes are going to focus on proportional change rather than absolute or real income changes. If you are in the top 17% of earners your income tax rate will come down. If you are a TD or Senator your tax bill will fall slightly to offset your water charges. If you are the working poor there is no such offset.

“New sectors of employment are mostly low pay and with slim job security. Limited jobs growth is restricted mostly to Dublin and other urban centres. Though there’s a growth in high-skill high-pay jobs, there has been a loss of mid-pay jobs in manufacturing.  This is deepening a well-entrenched two tiered economy. 

“Our party will oppose this budget and bring forward progressive amendments to the Finance Bill. Sinn Féin‘s alternative is a costed, fairer alternative that would repair communities, rebuild the economy and renew society.  Those three priorities are nowhere to be seen in today’s budget.”

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