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Austerity is choking this generation’s opportunities – Reilly

26 June, 2012

Sinn Féin’s representative on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Senator Kathryn Reilly has told the Strasbourg Assembly that “austerity is choking this generation’s opportunities”.

Senator Reilly was speaking during a debate on a report from the Parliamentary Assembly entitled “The young generation sacrificed: social, economic and political implications of the financial crisis” which spells out the lasting impact the recession could have on younger people and societal cohesion if there is no change in policies.

“As the youngest member of the Oireachtas I see every day how young people are bearing the brunt of this recession.

“President Barroso and the European Commission recently announced the Action Team on Youth Unemployment. Despite this we are yet to see any concrete action beyond spin and rhetoric.

“The one solution advocated - the reallocation of unspent structural funds- is void in Ireland because our funds are spent. We are also burdened under an austerity programme which further exacerbates the problems.”

Finishing her address with a plea for a change in policy at a European and domestic level Reilly asked:

“Where is the investment, the money that is needed to be spent to ensure this generation has a chance? Where is the evidence outside of this Assembly, on the ground, that there is any real intention of empowering young people through large scale investments in training, education and job creation?”

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