Irish Youth Feel Recession Keenly, are Prepared to Share the Burden

In Ireland, where the recession has hit even harder than in the United States, a new survey yields results that are simultaneously worrisome and encouraging. In a piece published in The Herald, Ireland’s evening newspaper, Cormac Byrne discusses the survey’s results. Some 40% of the 250 youths polled said that ”financial limitations on their family budget are causing previously unexperienced problems.” More than a quarter of the young people have seen a parent either forced to take a pay cut or laid off, and about the same number said their families “had scrapped plans for the holidays this year.” The same percentage acknowledged “heightened tensions” at home.

The encouraging side of the survey was the willingness of the youths to pitch in. Most young people agreed on the family’s need to cut back on luxuries, and noted that nearly everywhere, overshopping had given way to scrimping and saving. Half the subjects, all aged 12 to 17, said they were willing to cut back on their cell phone minute usage and abandon fashionable labels to help meet the crisis. 60% said that because of the recession, they were “less likely to ask their parents for money.” Significantly, “well over half … now find themselves more aware of how much things cost and are more appreciative of what they have.” And one in three is prepared to take “a part-time job to provide extra cash.”

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