Four in 10 young people still can't afford to move out of home in jobs crisis
Published 26/03/2014 | 02:30
MORE than four in 10 young people live at home with their parents – with cuts in social welfare and high levels of youth unemployment making it difficult to flee the nest.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has called on the Government to remove the age factor and pay young people the same welfare rates as other groups.
NYCI's deputy director James Doorley says many young people trapped in a 'Catch 22' situation.
"Young people are stuck. They can't afford to move out – but in many cases they are not able to contribute to the household income," he said.
He added that rising rents due to a housing shortage in parts of the country were also having an effect.
An analysis from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) has painted a picture of the social situation of young people aged from 18 to 29 across the EU.
It found that 42pc of young people in Ireland were living with their parents in 2011. This was down slightly from 45pc in 2007 – but that is likely down to many youngsters opting to move abroad to study or work as the recession took hold.
Another issue highlighted was that 51pc of youths reported a difficulty in accessing healthcare for financial reasons. Some 18pc experience deprivation including being unable to keep their house warm, being unable to buy meat or fish at least every second day, and opting to buy second-hand clothes.
Mr Doorley said the NYCI accepted the Government was working to create jobs through schemes but it needed to act at a "faster pace".
Junior Minister for European affairs Paschal Donohoe said there was "no doubt" the personal consequences for young people of being out of work or not having training opportunities were negative.
"With the money that is available to the Government at the moment we've had to make choices regarding supporting different parts of society," Mr Donohoe said in relation to cuts to social welfare payments, which saw some young people reduced to €100 a week.
"The most important choice that we've made for young people is to put funding in place to increase the number of training and work opportunities that is available to them."
Meanwhile, Marie-Claire McAleer, the NYCI's senior research officer, pointed out the lack of availability of free healthcare in Ireland compared to other parts of the EU, and the rising cost of health insurance, were proving a "significant barrier".
She pointed out that those most at risk of deprivation were young people living in large households with their parents, and also their partner or children.