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Sinn Féin publish pre-budget alternative standing up for young people – John Brady TD

29 September, 2017 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has this morning launched Sinn Féin’s alternative budget proposals supporting young people.

Teachta Brady said:

“Young people have always been an easy target for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. They were the very first cohort of people to be hit with cuts when the economic crash hit. Just like those who were hardest hit at the time, young people had no act or part in the economic downfall. Yet, they paid the greatest price.

“Sinn Féin believes that young people deserve the same rights and equality as everyone else.

“A young Jobseeker deserves a fair payment that they can live on while searching for work. Sinn Féin would restore Jobseekers Allowance for the under 26s to the full rate starting with an increase of €30 for all jobseekers aged 18-25 in Budget 2018.

“We would invest properly in Third Level Education by reducing the Student Contribution Charge by €500, abolishing PLC fees, and increasing core funding to Higher Education Institutions. These measures would assist young people in accessing Third Level Education and gaining qualifications.

“Young professionals such as teachers and nurses deserve equal pay as their co-workers for equal work. Again, this is another way that young people have been punished by this Government and successive Governments.

"Sinn Féin would increase pay for post-2011 workers over 3 years to bring them up to the same levels as their co-workers.

“Another area where our young people have been let down by Government is the absence of adequate support and services for mental health.

"In addressing this, Sinn Féin would speed up roll-out of 24/7 Crisis Intervention Services, provide 30 additional Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Nurse positions, triple the budget for counselling in primary care, and increase investment in response to addiction and dual-diagnosis.

“Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget would deliver a National Youth Arts Strategy promoting participation, progression and provision over a term in Government. This is in recognition of the importance of supporting our young people to express themselves in artistic and creative ways. We need to nurture this.

“Previous budgets have impacted severely on our young people, so much so that many of them have been forced into emigration and now live in many different countries throughout the world. Budget 2018 has got to be different.

“Young people deserve our respect and they deserve to be valued. We are on their side.”

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