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Young people were at the centre of this budget

Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Spokesperson for Education for the Green Party said that this budget is a budget for young people “This is a Green budget to protect and help young people. In Act one we passed the Climate Bill. Act two sees us put in place even more funding for climate action”.

“This is a key issue for young people in Ireland who have been calling on us as politicians to act. Future generations are depending on us. The budget has a funding increase in every single department, including 11.2% in the Department for primary responsibility for climate action.

“Other measures for young people are half priced transport, free contraception for girls and women aged between 17 and 25, a massive apprenticeship and green skills programme, and increase in Susi grants to name but a few.

She defended carbon tax saying that “it is a small but essential part of the puzzle, will not be paid by the poorest in society, and in fact is guaranteed by the programme for government to be ring-fenced to protect the most vulnerable. That work started in Budget 2021 with increases in fuel allowance and continues in to Budget 2022. Disposable income is also set to increase for all families, with the poorest 20% to benefit most. This is a budget to protect”

In her budget speech in the Seanad Senator O’Reilly asked the opposition for real honesty saying that “across very single department there is an increase in core funding. I have no problem with the opposition calling for transparency but let that transparency operate in reverse too”.