Friday, January 10, 2014

Roche: Young people are being hung out to dry by the Government

A candidate in the upcoming local elections has said that he fears that young people within his locality will struggle with poverty in the coming year.  Mick Roche said that cuts to unemployment benefit for those under 26 which has kicked in this month, cuts to youth services and rising student contribution levees have left young people trapped in a nightmare limbo of inequality.

“It’s not right to claim that young people need to be targeted in Budget cuts,” the Sinn Féin candidate said.  “A wealth tax imposed on those at the upper tier of our society would make more sense than destroying our best natural asset – our youth.  It is wrong to cut benefits to young people and then make it impossibly expensive to get back into full time education.  It’s almost as if the government want them to emigrate.”

“We have the fourth highest rate of young people not in education, employment or training in the EU.  I know young people in Bridgetown and Kilmore who are barely surviving.  They have no money to get their own transport, so even if they could afford to go back to school, they have no way of getting there.”

“I fully welcome recent job creation announcements, but the truth is we have a long way to go still.  Job opportunities aren’t widely available as the government would like us to believe.  We have already lost over 170,000 of our young people to emigration.  We can’t afford to lose anymore.”

“Its vital that sustainable employment is fostered, and that worker’s rights, particularly those of vulnerable young people, are protected.  In addition, realistic and accessible education places need to be made available for all of those young people who have been cut this month.”

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