Opinion By Stephen Glynn
If you are between the ages of 22 and 30, are a graduate or a skilled worker and live in Ireland; Emigrate now! Go, move, quick! All that this country offers you until you reach 40 years old is misery, depression, frustration and struggle.
This may seem a very extreme opinion or even scaremongering for younger people but why would I say this?
Starting with employment, when you are a graduate you will have a few options, first off, you can get an internship, which will leave you with little job security and low pay which may or may not lead to a job in a heavy saturated market with no regard for employees and little security in a world of endless internships and the dreaded jobs bridge.
You could enter full time employment where you will be delighted to earn €24,000 to €28,000 for a job that in the US will pay $40,000 to $56,000, Canada $45,000+, UK £35,000 and so on, basically, alongside the lack of job security will be the low wage.
This low wage is where your hardship will really start and with the question, where do I live? You can rent or buy, can’t you? Well no and, sort of, basically not really… What does this mean?
Well rent is at a historical all-time high, an average of €1,200 per month in Dublin, for someone on €24,000 to €28,000, you will be lucky to have €800 per month left for a bedsit or small room.
To buy? You are most likely a first time buyer, so alongside attempting to pay this high rent, you will need to contend with saving €25,000 for a 10% deposit for a mortgage which will allow you 3 1/2 times your annual salary in total or for someone on €28,000 and a deposit of €25,000, your spending power will be €123,000…. find yourself another half and quick, otherwise you won’t be buying a home in this decade, either way after your salary, you wont have a life once you pay your rent or mortgage repayment.
Now let’s add how you get to work. Either you drive or you use one of the worst public transport systems in the first world.
Firstly, public transport; the cost of public transport is high, for example, an annual DART/Commuter ticket will cost €1460.00 which saves you €430.00 on a 20% income tax rate with the TaxSaver. So your €28,000 will actually be €26,540 if you use the DART, which, unless you live near a DART line and work near a DART line, of which there are a sum total of 2 lines, you will need to use bus/luas, which is a similar fee or outside Dublin, a higher fee.
The other option is to drive; This is where you are caught really, at your age your insurance will be quite high and rising, not lowering, alongside this you will pay a decent chunk in road tax, an annual NCT (or every 2 years), a good amount in tax on your diesel or petrol and will need to keep your car on the road. There is little point in doing the sums here, it will depress you and me equally.
So basically, transport will also cost you quite a bit.
So let’s move to stress relief, first off is TV; a nice TV License of €160, this helps deliver RTÉ, which you don’t really watch, supporting salaries for personalities that you don’t like and shows you are not interested in.
Time to do other things, or the work life balance; nope. You are of an age which means due to your salary and spending power, you will be travelling between an hour and an hour and half to and from work each day so 10 to 15 hours Monday to Friday, so little time to live a life.
Health? You don’t qualify for a medical card, so you will need to pay for health insurance and that’s right! You will be paying a high fee for this!
All this sounds tough, so surely there is support out there for you! Politics! Eh, No!
The country took to the streets to protest water charges, a charge that will cost €200-€400, while your generation sank and sinks further into not being able to afford housing for the next 2 decades…
That’s Irish priorities.
So surely all the organisations are out helping your generation? No again. You will hear them shouting rent certainty and rent supplement, alongside a call for building social housing, well, you guessed it, that doesn’t help you either! In fact, that will make it a bit tougher for you, the landlord will up the rent if they believe rent certainty will come in and you don’t qualify for rent supplement. In fact, who is there to help? Not one political party, they are all scrambling for social welfare supports, social housing, etc., and will do nothing for first time buyers and renegotiating your mortgage, in fact you are now THE most vulnerable generation in the history of the republic of
Ireland and not one group or political party cares. Not as harsh an opinion when it’s put this way. Put in the way you live it.
So, if you are aged 22 to 30, are skilled or have a third level education. Go. Now. Otherwise you will live the next two decades in depression, frustration and difficulty.
Ireland is not for our generation or the next.