Labour Youth
27 September 2016

Labour Youth and Labour Equality are raising concerns today given reports in the media suggesting the current government are discussing a tax break to Irish emigrants earning over 75,000 per annum. This measure comes as part of a new incentive to seek the return of, what is being reported as, “highly skilled emigrants”.

Responding to these reports Eoin Barry, Chair of Labour Equality, commented, “The recent economic crisis has a profound impact on people living in Ireland. This impact of cuts was particularly felt by young people, many of whom emigrated in recent years. While we agree there should be measures taken to encourage people to move home, the aim of this should not be targeted at those on high wages or achieved through providing tax incentives.

“Young people that stayed in Ireland in recent years have carried more than their fair share of the burden of austerity. High unemployment, low wages, increases in taxes, and cuts in social welfare payments have all disproportionately affected young people in Ireland. Young nurses, teachers and Gardai all continue to be payed less than their colleagues that are doing the same work. These issues have all contributed to the emigration we have seen in recent years.

National Chairperson of Labour Youth, Grace Williams further commented, “Young people who have left this country did not do so because of the tax system. To suggest this is an insult to the struggle that many young people have felt daily trying to find employment in a country that would rather blame young people for being unemployed than support them in finding work. The best way to seek the return of our emigrants is to tackle to causes of such high rates of emigration. Low pay, precarious working contracts, and the continued casualisation of work have played a pivotal role in convincing young people that there are more opportunities for them elsewhere. This government must commit to tackling these issues if they wish to see the return of young emigrants.

“We are today calling on the government, and in particular Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor, to tackle the issues that will prevent the return our emigrants, rather than seeking to plaster over the issue with tax cuts.”

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