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We need to address intergenerational inequality – Boylan

28 July, 2016 - by Lynn Boylan MEP


Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has said that is of the utmost importance that we start to talk about intergenerational inequality and work towards addressing the serious issues affecting young people today, that if unresolved will cause even further damage in the future.

MEP Boylan said:

“In Ireland, and across Europe, societies are undergoing unprecedented growth in levels of inequality. One of the areas that inequality has become more marked in the past decade is intergenerational inequality.

“Young people don’t feel hard done by; they are hard done by. Overall, they have faced a battery of attacks on their wellbeing. In particular some issues are more pertinent than others; spiralling rents, a lack of affordable housing and secure, well-paid jobs, the lack of mental health services, the decimation of youth services, increasing costs of third level education, a discriminatory welfare system with cuts to social security, and so on.

“In Ireland, through instances such as the reduction in pay for new entrants to the civil and public service and reduced jobseekers allowance, young people have witnessed ageism and state sponsored inequality.

“This period is likely to be one of the first times in history that the incomes of young adults have fallen so far when compared with the rest of society. Furthermore, outside of wage comparison, this also represents one of the first times that a generation will be materialistically less well off than the previous generation.

“Such a situation is not just bad for young people, but it is bad for society and the economy as a whole. Failure to make a genuine effort to invest in Ireland’s young people will be a social and economic disinvestment immediately, and for the future.

“By tackling the issues that affect young people in such a negative manner, we will in fact be addressing many of our wider societal problems. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we start to talk about and work to address such issues as the abuse of unpaid internships, reduced pay for new entrant civil servants, nurses, teachers, prison officers, and Gardaí, unsecure work and zero hour contracts, spiralling rent and housing costs, and other such problems.

“Young people aren’t looking for special treatment, they are looking for equality, and it is only right that they should get that.”

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