Government is clapping itself on the back while it ignores the exit sign over the door for young people – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has claimed that the government is clapping itself on the back for the so-called exit from the bailout while ignoring the ‘Exit’ sign over the door as our young people leave our country in droves every week.
The TD for Cavan & Monaghan made the comments last night during a debate on a Sinn Féin Private Members Business motion on youth unemployment and emigration.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“Our subservient Government has been more than content to obey the austerity diktats of the Troika and, indeed, to go beyond them, by imposing hardship on the old and the young, the sick and the vulnerable, those on the margins and those struggling to survive with inflated mortgage debt and the rising cost of living.
“We have a shocking rate of unemployment for people under 35 - 30%. And this does not include those on training schemes. This is a huge indictment of the failure of austerity but an even greater indictment is the figure of 105,000 young people between 15 and 24 who have emigrated since 2011. The figure for those aged 25 to 44 who have emigrated since 2011 is 112,000.
“As a TD representing a constituency made up entirely of small towns, villages and rural areas I know intimately the devastation being caused to our communities by the outflow of our young people. The lifeblood is literally being drained from communities throughout the length and breadth of this country.
“This Government is clapping itself on the back for the so-called exit from the bailout. But it prefers to ignore the ‘Exit’ sign over the door as our young people leave our country in droves every week.
“There is clearly concerted effort on the part of this Government to stem the tide of emigration and to tackle mass unemployment among young people. The mentality behind the slashing of Jobseekers Allowance for people under 25 says it all about the regard this Fine Gael-Labour government has for our young people. Like many Governments before them, as far as they are concerned the more that leave the better because it means less dole less rent supplement to be paid out and lower demand on health and education services.
“The Government parties will deny this vehemently. Their words will carry no weight. If they have real concern for youth unemployment and youth emigration they will immediately implement the relatively modest measures called for in our motion. Nothing less is acceptable.”