Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Update - My Scribblss

The Forgotten Generation 

As my days pass to months and months pass to years, bitter resentment has been festering within. I can’t help but feel lost and forgotten by the world. 

I can’t speak for my entire generation but from experience, this feeling is mutual among my peers; A generation of twenty and thirty somethings who feel hard-done-by and abandoned by the government. We are the future but what kind of future shall we live? I, like so much of my generation, hold a degree which I studied six hard years for. We are qualified, intelligent and competent; yet for large number of young people that didnt take the courageous step and emigrated, are mostly to be found either in severe debt, just scraping by or, as is my own case, still living with our parents. 

Earning just €2 over minimum wage and on a 40 hour contract, I have reached my pay threshold. This threshold will be in place for the foreseeable future. I work an eight hour day and when I come home, I work on my art until I can’t focus anymore. I have entertained the thought in pursuing a career in art and entertainment, where my degree lies. Numerous attempts resulted in only costly failure. In order for me to travel to markets to sell my art around the country, I will need to first fork out upwards from €600 a year for insurance. I cannot realistically do that and make a significant profit while I am starting out my career. 

Our national broadcaster rarely hires fresh, young creatives and grants from the art council are seriously lacking. If it’s too costly for me to start out on my own and if the national broadcaster isn’t hiring and the Irish Government isn’t providing sufficient support, then what is left for me? Am I destined to live, forever with my parents as a grown-up child? 

By the time the tax man is done I average €350-€380 a week, certainly far removed from Enda Kenny’s estimate of an average income in this country of €30,000 a year and I am on the higher end of the payscale for the middle income bracket. I would love to know where he pulled those figures from. 

I’ve had my medical card taken away and I am not entitled to a GP card. Having had to visit the doctor and a therapist very frequently since last year, I have been finding it extremely hard to pay for the visits as well as my medicine, bills and loans. 

Spending my life with the man I love and raising a family with him is simply an impossibility. What is the point in living if you have no life of your own? 

I long for freedom and independence. I long to support myself and raise a family. I long to contribute to society. I long, for something that generations before us took for granted, to be a fully functioning adult; another impossibility. 

The government is doing nothing about unemployment but running scams and lying to make the figures look good. Jobsbridge has to be the most counterproductive scheme the government has yet rolled out. Employers benefit with free employment and the government benefits by getting numbers off of the live register, while the people being ‘hired’ earn a mesely €50 onto their dole. Not only is this demeaning and belittling but it is soul destroying. It drives you to madness knowing that you are stuck on a continuous loop consisting of menial, tedious work with no escape; having to spend a six month programme learning to stack shelves, only to be cast aside and discarded when the programme ends. 

The government tells us employment is up as more jobs are being created. That’s excellent to hear but what about the quality of those jobs? Employers are taking full advantage of people’s desperation and passing out zero hour contracts. The rights of the employee are quickly fraying but the sad thing is that it just has become the accepted norm. Low hour contracts for low paying jobs is all that is on offer now. 

I speak dire of my generations prospects, I can’t imagine the world we are going to leave to todays children. Jobsbridge will have a ripple effect on todays youth, Gone will be days of a summer job in the local supermarket. Those positions will be filled by another number of twenty somethings just trying to survive. 

The same can be said for the sham courses that the government are putting people on, it’s all to fluff the stats. 

I am ambitious, intelligent and hardworking, yet this has gotten me nowhere significant.

© Sarah O’Regan

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