Emigration ‘only future for young’ after budget – SVP

Vulnerable young people and the elderly will suffer due to Budget 2014, charitable groups working at the coal face have warned.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan this week announced dramatic restrictions on medical cards, cuts to telephone allowances for the elderly and increased prescription charges.

The Government also announced fresh cuts to social welfare rates for under-25 year olds.

A spokesman for the Society of St Vincent de Paul told The Irish Catholic that “the real losers from this budget are young adults and older people”.

“Under-25s especially will interpret cut to welfare as meaning that emigration is their only future,” he said.

Meanwhile, Trócaire has expressed disappointment at news that the overseas aid budget is to drop by €14million in 2014. A spokesperson for the charity said:  "It is disappointing that the overseas aid development programme has been further reduced by a projected 3.1%.

“While we fully recognise the difficulty the Government has in making these budget choices, there is a long-standing commitment to reach 0.7% of Gross National Product (GNP) by 2015. In each successive budget (since 2008), we have been moving away from this target,” she said.