Date Released: 15 October 2014
The Young Workers Network has today (Wednesday, 15th October) criticised Budget 2015 for failing to reverse cuts to Jobseekers Allowance for young people which had been imposed in the previous budget.
Young Workers’ Network activist, Dan O’Neill, said: "Budget 2014 reduced Jobseeker’s Allowance for people aged between 18 and 24 to just €100. For young unemployed people aged between 22 and 24 this was a reduction of €44 in their weekly payments. At its pre-budget protest the Young Workers’ Network called for this reduction to be reversed in Budget 2015. Unfortunately this demand was ignored by the Government.
“According to the Government, the reduction in the Jobseeker’s Allowance for young people was to ‘incentivise’ them to look for work or avail of education and training opportunities.
“However, data from the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI) suggests that young people are not particularly susceptible to remaining in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance on a long-term basis. In fact, the reduction in the number of long-term claimants is higher among young people, indicating that these cuts are an unnecessary pain inflicted on our youth”.
He added: “It would be unfair of us not to recognise that there were some positive announcements in the budget, such as the decision to employ 1,700 new teachers in September and the commitment to invest in social housing.
“However, we cannot condone a Budget which cuts income tax for high earners while young people remain on a reduced level of social welfare. Those on the right wing of Government must end their ideological drive to give benefits to the wealthy at the expense of our society as a whole.”