Gilmore ignores question on leaked youth initiative document

SF leader says initiative encouraging emigration

Eamon Gilmore:   Tánaiste said everybody knew there was a big problem with youth unemployment in the State, adding that there had been some progress.

Eamon Gilmore: Tánaiste said everybody knew there was a big problem with youth unemployment in the State, adding that there had been some progress.

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 01:00

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has refused to be drawn on the leaked Department of Social Protection document indicating that key changes will be needed to the youth initiative on jobs and education.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams referred to the document, details of which were revealed in yesterday’s Irish Times, indicating the changes would be needed in the light of scarce resources.

He questioned whether the Government would keep commitments to provide guaranteed access to a job, further education or training for young people within four months.

Cost of guarantee
Mr Adams said he was sure the Tánaiste knew the International Labour Organisation had estimated that a decent youth guarantee would cost about €6,600 per participant.

“Is the Government putting that sum into the scheme here to help unemployed young people?’’ he asked. “No, it is putting a miserly €260 into the pockets of each of these young people.”

Mr Adams suggested the youth guarantee scheme was “woefully inadequate and encourages emigration”.

Mr Gilmore outlined measures taken but did not refer to the leaked document. He said everybody knew there was a big problem with youth unemployment in the State, adding that there had been some progress.

Progress
“At the height of the crisis in 2009, there were 83,000 young people unemployed,’’ he said. “The figure is now down to 59,000.’’ Mr Adams said the Tánaiste had refused to answer his question. He asked why the 2014 action plan for jobs had not included youth unemployment. Mr Gilmore said the plan was directed towards the creation of employment, including employment for young people.

Michael Healy-Rae (Ind) said the young people of Ireland were in Canada or Australia.

The Tánaiste responded that many young people were in new types of employment in the Republic, including in the Dublin docklands and in companies like PayPal in Louth.