How many sitting in Leinster House have an adult son or daughter living with them, Nessa Childers MEP asked this morning as one astonishing EU report shows that almost half of all young Europeans have yet to move out.
‘We know that because of crippling austerity, young people today continue to suffer disproportionately,’ Ms Childers warned.
‘I wonder how many public representatives in the Oireachtas are supporting live-in, adult offspring. How many have seen first-hand an unemployed young person’s isolation and frustration?
‘Because sadly, no one in this country can rely on the Government’s proposed Youth Guarantee Scheme – it is flawed, lacks proper funding and is doomed to failure. And it simply won’t deliver proper, long-term career opportunities.’
Ms Childers added: ‘Jobless, prospectless – often hopeless; because of economic turmoil younger generations face fewer, far more limited possibilities. This is despite the fact that they are better educated and arguably harbour more ambitions than their parents.’
Research presented to policymakers in Dublin this morning shows that 48 per cent of 18 to 30 year olds across Europe live with their parents – a rise of 4 per cent in just four years.
Eurofound also says that nearly half of young people in the 28 EU member states live in households experiencing some form of deprivation.
‘Youth unemployment is a big problem across Europe – and particularly in Ireland,’ Ms Childers said. ‘And increasingly we’re seeing how difficult it is to secure affordable rental accommodation.’
The MEP, a psychotherapist by profession, also highlighted: ‘These are circumstances that cause isolation.
‘Living in your family home and sleeping in your childhood bedroom when you’re in your mid- or late-20s can have a huge psychological impact; it’s a situation that can really damage a person’s confidence.
‘Understandably, that in itself creates problems when it comes to applying for jobs, going to interviews and ultimately securing employment.’
Ms Childers said she will be calling on European leaders to implement a series of measures to address the likes of youth unemployment, access to affordable accommodation and social isolation.