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With catastrophic implications, the next generation is being left behind, MEP Nessa Childers warns

Press Release

Monday 31 Mar 2014

With catastrophic implications, the next generation is being left behind, MEP Nessa Childers said today.

‘Younger people always find themselves on the frontline economically,’ Ms Childers added as an in-depth Caritas Europa study reveals the presence of widespread poverty and deprivation among children – features which challenge the view that Europe, and Ireland, are on the road to recovery.

‘We know that a quarter of young people in Europe are unemployed, Ms Childers added. ‘And I don’t believe that the Youth Guarantee Scheme is enough.

‘This new report again highlights that the Government needs to do so much more to get school- and college-graduates working, but the issue is not being prioritised.

‘Sadly, the current one-size-fits-all attitude is just not going to create jobs for our under-25s; it will not keep our young, highly educated workforce on home-soil.’

The Economic Crisis And Its Human Cost study looked at the seven EU countries worst affected by the economic crisis: Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain, as well as Ireland.

With contributions from Social Justice Ireland, it also says the EU is failing the many Europeans left struggling because of austerity. ‘Essential public services have not been protected and Ireland’s inability to create employment is only going to prolong the crisis,’ Ms Childers highlighted.

Social Justice Ireland also says that more than 27 per cent of 18-25 year olds in Ireland are at risk of poverty. Furthermore, Ireland’s youth unemployment rate currently stands at a stubborn 26 per cent. A total of 17 per cent of our children are ‘at risk of poverty’ and a third are suffering from material deprivation – all factors that contribute to unemployment in later life.

‘Our youth unemployment rate would be so much worse if it wasn’t for emigration,’ Ms Childers said.

‘But by driving young people away to Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we are diminishing this country’s chances of real economic recovery. ‘For those that stay,’ the independent MEP added, ‘many are hopeless; they view living at home with mum and dad while claiming Social Welfare as their best option.’

Ends

Notes to the editor:

The proposed Youth Guarantee Scheme aims to offer under-25s paid-work, education or training within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving full-time education. Last year, the Youth Council Of Ireland estimated that it would cost approximately €273million annually to implement. In Budget 2014, the Government allocated just €14million to the fund, albeit with an additional €30million coming from EU sources.

The full Economic Crisis And Its Human Cost report can be viewed here: http://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/file/EU/2014-03-27%20-%20%20Caritas%20Crisis%20Report%202013%20-%20published%20version%20-%20FINAL.pdf