News & Media

Huge increase in young people claiming the PUP – Budget support needed

12 October 2020

Statement by Seán Sherlock TD
Parliamentary Party Chair and Spokesperson on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands; Agriculture and the Marine
  • Biggest increase is in under 25’s with over 10,000 new claimants.
  • Most claimants now in under 25, and 25 – 34 age cohorts.
  • Budget must deliver for young people with new training places and continued income supports.

Figures published today show an increase of over 10,000 people aged under 25 claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment said Labour Social Protection spokesperson Seán Sherlock TD highlighting the need for specific measures in the Budget tomorrow to support young people.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The latest Pandemic Unemployment Payment claim figures, published today, show an increase of 10,275 people under the age of 25 now claiming the payment. A further 4,289 new claimants are aged between 25 and 34. This shows the massive impact that the pandemic is having on young people.

“The two biggest age cohorts on the PUP are under 35. While the increase this week is spread across all age bands, it is most concentrated in young people.

“There are now just under 230,000 people claiming the PUP, and over 100,000 of those are under 35. The economic impact is hurting young people the most, who are most likely to be working in the sectors impacted. Many young people work in tourism, entertainment and retail, either full-time or to fund their studies. Yet these face-to-face sectors have been worst affected by the pandemic, and now nearly two in five young people are unemployed

“Tomorrow is Budget Day and we will hear many policy announcement’s and spending initiatives launched and publicised. What we do need to hear is a coherent message from the government on what they will do to support young people.

“These are workers, people who were out earning a wage, trying to make their way until restrictions limited their ability to continue their employment.

“In our Alternative Budget Labour proposed a new short term work scheme, that would support workers who want to retrain. We cannot afford to leave a generation behind, and Labour would provide 28,000 additional places at a net cost of €27 million as proposed by the National Youth Council of Ireland.

“We need a New Deal for a New Generation, a State-backed Youth Guarantee (building on the EU YES scheme) that ensures that everyone under 25 who is not already in education or work should be guaranteed an offer of decent work and/or training. This could be through a National Apprenticeship Access scheme providing skills for the jobs of the future, a voluntary paid placement in an appropriate community setting or in-work training or remote study.

“The huge impact on young people must be addressed, and the scapegoating must stop.”