People before Profit are calling for the immediate restoration of full welfare payments for the 18-25 year olds. This cut has always been opposed on equality grounds but as the Youth Guarantee can’t be met now, the ability of this group to train in order to receive the full payment has been removed. Routes to Apprenticeships/Traineeships are also seriously disrupted meaning that any means to improve their lot through training or employment has been seriously compromised.
Una Dunphy, a Waterford People Before Profit representative says “Cuts to welfare payments to the 18-25 year olds were always grossly unfair and based on the assumption that this group were dependents of some sort. The cuts were to be balanced under the Youth Guarantee system which offered employment, education, apprenticeship or traineeship, allowing participants to receive the full payment. This commitment had to be available within a time frame the Government can no longer provide so they should immediately restore full payments.”
This is clearly a scheme that affects the most disadvantaged. Survival on a reduced welfare payment is bleak and can only be short lived before it starts to have lasting damage. Measures need to be put in place immediately to address this failure of the Youth Guarantee.
Una Dunphy adds “We must ensure that our vulnerable young people are not left behind here and we also need to carefully review how we implement this program for the best outcomes. Many parts of the Youth Guarantee were not reviewed or quantified. In uncertain times we need to invest thought as well as finance in how we direct the Youth Guarantee to ensure it delivers for the youth in our society