Budget 2014 introduced significant cuts to Jobseeker’s Allowance (which is means tested) for young workers. The payment to new entrants aged 22-24 is reduced from €144 to €100 per week, and for those aged 25 the payment is reduced from €188 to €144 per week. The stated aim is to “ensure that young people are better off in education, employment or training than claiming”, and the Government hopes to save €32 million from the measure.
Despite being portrayed as work-shy, 82% of those aged 18-24 are not on the Live Register, 85% of those who are have previously worked, and almost half of young people on the Live Register have been claiming for less than 6 months. As there are 32 unemployed people for every job vacancy, the issue is one of a lack of jobs, rather than a lack of motivation.