Helping young people ‘a priority for Sinn Féin’ – Reilly
Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Senator and party spokesperson on Youth Affairs Kathryn Reilly stated that Sinn Féin was the only party who have made young people a priority over the past five years and are the only party committed to looking after their interests in the future.
Senator Reilly said:
“Fianna Fáil’s mismanagement of the economy culminated in economic catastrophe and the subsequent cuts they implemented, such as the reduction of jobseekers allowance for young people, contributed to forcing thousands of young Irish people to emigrate in search of employment and a decent standard of living.
“The austerity politics of Fine Gael and Labour continued the work of Fianna Fáil, they extended cuts and further created a situation where it was impossible for young people to gain employment, progress their career, rent affordably, purchase a reasonably priced home, attain third level education, amongst many other things. But most importantly, this government denied young people the opportunity to live in Ireland with dignity.
“It is blatantly apparent that prospects for young people have worsened under this government; currently there are 61,600 fewer young people aged between 20 and 34 in employment since this government took office while over 165,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 emigrated in the past five years alone.
“The government parties have ignored young people, as have Fianna Fáil, neither have any plan to deal with the youth crisis. In particular, they have all ignored calls for the restoration of equality for young jobseekers in any of their youth policies. In the run up to the election these parties will pay lip service to young people and make promises they know they will not keep once in government.
“In contrast, Sinn Féin will continue to work towards addressing the needs of young people and resolving the youth crisis. We will, as outlined in our Alternative Budget, work towards restoring equality for young jobseekers, reducing third-level registration fees, increasing third level grants, along with providing an affordable rental and housing market, decent public transport, a fair and acceptable health service, implementation of the Youth Guarantee, and much more.”