21/08/2019

Young Jobseekers Let Down By Govt 'At Every Turn'

Young jobseekers have been let down by the government "at every turn", Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has said.

Deputy Brady made the criticism as be launched Sinn Féin's proposals to bring about equality for young jobseekers.

He said: "In 2009, young jobseekers were the very first to see cuts to their social welfare supports. These cuts not only reduced their jobseeker's payment but created a three tier payment structure which made the rate payable determined by age. This was a policy decision implemented by Fianna Fáil and continued by Fine Gael.

"Despite numerous cuts being reversed in recent years, young jobseekers continue to be discriminated against based on age. In fact, it is actually getting worse. Every Budget that includes an increase in jobseeker's payments widens the gap even further between what a twenty four year old jobseeker will receive compared to a twenty six year old jobseeker.

"Following on from a commitment contained in Fine Gael's 'Pathways to Work' document, a report into the impact of reduced jobseeker rates for 18-25 year olds was due to be published by the Department of Social Protection in the second quarter of 2016.

"Three years later this report is nowhere to be seen. This is despite the former Minister Leo Varadkar telling us the report would be published by the end of 2016. Since then we have been given several timelines by Minister Doherty which have all come and gone.

"The rate of payment for a jobseeker should not be based on their age which has nothing to do with the uncertainty they find themselves in when unemployed. We need to see the payment restored to one single rate of payment for all jobseekers regardless, of age. We are also calling for the immediate publication of the report as committed to in Pathways to Work."

(MH/JG)

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