“Ireland is losing an entire generation as its best and brightest are shipped abroad to escape the unemployment crisis,” Fine Gael social protection spokesman Dep Michael Ring has warned. Deputy Ring was speaking after new CSO figures showed the highest net emigration levels since 1989, and unemployment at 13.2 per cent between April and June.
“Fianna Fáil has dragged Ireland back to the dark days of the 1980s. Some 9,300 more people left Ireland in April than in April 2009, a rise of 50 per cent,” he said. “Those being driven abroad are overwhelmingly young. Of the 65,300 predicted to emigrate this year, some 43 per cent are aged between 15 and 24 and another 45 per cent are aged between 25 and 44.
“The only jobs plan under this government is to emigrate or go on the dole,” Dep Ring contended. “Fine Gael wants to build an enterprise economy after the next election and give young people the opportunity to find work within Ireland. Our policies include a youth employment package to create 36,000 new jobs, and the NewERA plan to create 105,000 by overhauling State infrastructure.
“The jobs crisis is putting enormous pressure on the social welfare system. Unfortunately, this Government would rather use emigration as a safety valve to reduce the cost of social welfare to the Exchequer.”