6 April 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Newly released 2016 Census figures show there are 119,252 fewer people – aged in their 20’s and early 30’s – in Ireland now than 5 years ago.
The 2016 Census figures have been contrasted with the 2011 Census by Cork City Councillor Fiona Ryan (Solidarity ). Councillor Ryan said
“This is a glimpse of how the austerity years robbed a generation of the notion that their quality of life in Ireland would be equal or better than their parents. Despite continued attempts at propaganda from the establishment parties that years of austerity had not driven young people and continue to do so in the tens of thousands away from Ireland, the 2016 census results paints a very different picture indeed.”
“Prospects for younger people in Ireland remain bleak. Even more insulting is the governments approach to continue to bury their heads in the sand regarding the cost of living crisis faced by my generation.
Not only do we have out of control rent hikes, particularly here in Cork but nationally also, but we now have to contend with an increase in zero hour, under-paid and precarious contractual work without the promise of security in the future.
This is not just in the private sector either, there has been a race to the bottom that has been ongoing for some time in the public sector also where over the course of years the conditions of new entrants were sacrificed to yellow pack work.”
Councillor Ryan criticised the government’s approach towards the so called “millennial” generation, who disproportionately are effected by many of the austerity measures introduced since the financial crisis and Fine Gael’s refusal to intervene in the private market.
“Some younger people have seen themselves targeted as an easy group to exploit and scapegoat. Car insurance companies providing quotes in the multiple thousands, increases in costs of public transport, student fees, the rise of the internship culture and of course, the deplorable and ageist cut to social welfare rates for those under the age of 25.
Clearly Ireland is still no country for young men and women and will remain that way until the right to a home and a decent wage for a decent days pay is secured. Why would a young graduate nurse consign themselves to exploitative hours, permanently earning far less than their peers based solely on their year of graduation and with no prospect of homeownership or security of their tenureship in the rental market?”