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The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have today condemned the marginalising of unemployed young people by reducing social welfare payments. USI have called for further investment in a Youth Guarantee scheme and urge any young person not to take this new measure as an indication that their only option is to emigrate.

At a special post-Budget meeting of the USI National Council held today, severe concerns were raised about the impact this measure would have on young people, and it was unanimously agreed that USI would support a protest taking place this evening at 5pm outside Dáil Eireann.

USI President, Joe O’Connor said:

“Young people, who have had nothing to do with the crisis this country now finds itself in, were punished in yesterday’s Budget for past mistakes.

Many highly-skilled, highly-qualified young people who are unable to find work due to the lack of opportunities now face a reduction in their social welfare payments, and a lowering of their social floor.

Against a backdrop of mass youth unemployment and emigration, yesterday’s decision was an extremely punishing for many young people unable to find work.

It is now vitally important that the Government deliver in full on the Youth Guarantee to ensure that these measures do not represent the forcing of many more young people into emigration.

The €14 million euro allocated in yesterday’s Budget is a positive first step, but it should be only a starting point. If the Government wish to incentivise young people into education, training and the workplace, they must first ensure that these opportunities are available to all”.

For more information contact USI Communications and Research Executive Grainne O Reilly on 0876776636 or 019052100

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