Do the Young Unemployed Need the Incentive of Reduced Social Welfare?

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.


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