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Men in grey suits don't see younger people as a priority

Last weekend, I spent Saturday night in my home town of Tipperary running around attending my friends' emigration parties.

Life-long pals were leaving for greener pastures in trendy cities like Vancouver and London - moving abroad in the hopes of landing the dream job.

As they board their flights this week, I doubt the Budget even entered their minds.

The men in varying shades of grey suits and purple ties made it clear long ago that graduates and young people are not their priority.


Graduate jobs or placements are thin on the ground, with most young people in their twenties struggling to find work in their chosen fields or resigning themselves to JobBridge internships for the grand sum of €50 extra per week over their paltry €100 jobseeker's allowance.

I was one of the lucky ones who managed to land a good job after spending five years at university. However, it's tough to see my friends leave their home as their country fails to offer them any opportunities.

My best friend left for London on Sunday. She is smart and talented with a very good degree and hopes to be a theatre director.

She has spent the last few years putting on various plays and productions in Cork, while working at a call centre to pay the bills.

She couldn't even get a job in a theatre box office here.

Yet when she applied to various positions in London - where most of our friends now live - she landed a job within a week and she was on the first plane out of here.

Many others who do have jobs here have also decided to leave because there's no security in Ireland.

Rolling contracts are the norm, rents are expensive - actually, everything is expensive - and the chances of owning a property any time soon are slim.

And for those who manage to get jobs and decide to stay, we earn just enough to live.

We can't afford pension schemes, rent hikes are a common gripe, bills are getting more expensive by the day and saving seems like a luxury.

The USC cut announced yesterday will give me an extra €174 a year, which will barely cover the cost of the newly introduced water charges.

While the DIRT refund is something, if I wanted to buy a house I'll be saving for years to come up with a 20pc deposit.


Noonan says that unemployment will be reduced to under 10pc next year but those numbers are already skewed with thousands emigrating and others on government internship schemes.

I don't believe what little growth is happening will introduce enough opportunities or incentives to entice my friends back.

And for my mates who live outside Dublin, jobs are non-existent and they're all just waiting for the chance to leave.

The jobs that are available are mostly based in the capital, while towns across the country slowly crumble.

The only thing I can be thankful for is that they old reliable, alcohol, wasn't hit.

At least I'll know the price of a gin and tonic won't have changed by the weekend.