Youth Council brands Jobseeker cuts 'misguided'

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has said it opposes the slashing of Jobseeker’s Allowance to "a paltry" €100 for young people aged 20 to 21 and €150 to those between 22 to 24 who are unemployed.

The organisation said the cutbacks are "more severe than proposed in the McCarthy report" and are "a misguided and short-sighted policy that will do nothing for young people and the economy".

Ireland has the second highest youth unemployment in Western Europe, with 1 in 3 young men under 25 out of work, according to the organisation.

James Doorley, Assistant Director at NYCI, said: "We know there are 74,000 young people are out of work and these changes will have a significant impact on many of them who have already undergone a means test which demonstrates that they have no or limited alternative income.

"To slash that by half will drive many who are already struggling further into debt and poverty. The only incentive given to young people in this Budget is to emigrate.

The NYCI said that the training courses and educational opportunities "are not there to meet the demand".

Mr Doorley said: "NYCI wants to get young people off benefits and back to work. Therefore as part of a stimulus plan to get the country going again we believe that Government must guarantee every young person out of work a meaningful and appropriate training, education or workplace opportunity within three months of becoming unemployed."

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