Opinion: Despite what it looks like, this Budget is not for the young people of Ireland
"The 2022 budget was a way for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to gain more of the younger vote, nothing more or nothing less."
It's Budget day and with another year of increases and cutbacks, it's clear yet again that this budget is not one for the young people of Ireland.
Scanning over the latest bout of yearly spending, it can look as if we've finally been listened to, and as much as that might seem true, it just isn't.
Introducing free contraception for 17 to 25-year-olds and halving public transport fares for 18 to 23-year-olds is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but it almost works as a distraction for the other issues that aren't being improved.
Housing is one of, if not the biggest, issue facing the youth of this country, and with €174 million invested to support the direct delivery of over 4,000 affordable homes next year, it's not what we need.
Yes, it's better than nothing at all and with the help to buy scheme still in place for another year, it's a step in the right direction, but how can we afford these homes if we can barely afford to save for them with extortionate rents and less than a living wage going into our pockets?
Minimum wage was increased, but only by a whole 30c an hour. Wow, a whole €12 going into our bank accounts each week, the Government really are too generous.
For those working for minimum wage, a home they own is the most farfetched idea ever, hell, if you're earning more than that it still is near impossible.
Claiming this budget kept "cost of living" in their minds, it's clear from the get-go that the Government don't have a notion of what that is to someone who isn't on their three-figure salaries.
The Labour Party housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said it best, telling Dublin People: "From the measures announced today, it’s clear that there is no sense of urgency to tackling the crisis.
"All measures announced are caveated with a long lead in time despite the fact that first time buyers are competing with investment funds, renters are paying above and beyond for a roof over their heads and students are sleeping on couches.
"Renters remain relegated to second class citizens. Nothing will be done to tackle unaffordable rents. Too many people are struggling to pay high rents, or simply can’t find an affordable place to live. There are tax breaks for landlords in the budget but nothing for renters."
Extending tax relief for landlords and incorporating none for renters is simply unacceptable, people are crying out for something to be done but the Government may as well be putting their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la".
So while free contraception and bus tickets are thrown at us, despite 25 apparently not being considered young anymore, this budget had no intention of ever sorting out the housing crisis, and at the rate the Government are headed, it never will.
The 2022 budget was a way for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to gain more of the younger vote, nothing more or nothing less.