They may not think it at first glance, but Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is doing the young people of Ireland and this country a big favour.
No government could continue to stand over a policy which allows our youth to draw a weekly state allowance without any great incentive to get a job or to be trained up for future employment.
The Budget measures announced yesterday to curtail unemployment benefits for the under-25s are to be welcomed, tough and all as they will be for so many.
Our young people need to be steered away from a life on the dole – and taught that handouts are not the norm or acceptable.
Even if many of the jobs out there are low-paid, the workplace – or further education – is a much healthier place for the under-25s to be than being idle and going nowhere fast.
British Prime Minister David Cameron promised the Conservative party annual conference in Britain last week to "nag and push and guide" young people away from dependency on state handouts. He said he wanted them to "earn or learn".
It is refreshing to see that the Government here is following suit too, although interesting that it's a Labour minister taking a leaf out of the Tory book in Britain.
Under the Budget measures, the jobseekers' allowance is to be decreased to €100 a week for all those aged under 24 and who are new claimants from the start of next year.
Another reduced rate of €144 will apply to jobseekers who reach 25 years of age from January 1.
This initiative, which will save the State €30m annually, will cause some pain in the short term but real gain in the long run. It will encourage young people to take up training opportunities and to participate in schemes such as JobBridge and JobsPlus.
JobBridge has received a lot of bad press in the last 12 months but it is a great stepping stone and opportunity for young people and graduates to get valuable experience and their first step on the jobs ladder.
I don't buy the notion that this measure will force our young people to emigrate or that it is delivering a kicking in the teeth to them. This is a predictable reaction from some parts of the opposition.
The reality is that in Ireland today it is possible for young people to leave school, sign on and claim various benefits. It is time for bold action against early recruitment to a dependency culture.
However, it is also the responsibility of the Government to create the environment where young people won't have to rely on State handouts.
We all want a land of opportunity where business flourishes and there is a reduced reliance on benefits.
The bottom line is we must do our utmost to ensure that our school-leavers are not sucked into a 'money for nothing' lifestyle on the one hand – and provide them with opportunities to thrive on the other.