Young people are emigrating because they can no longer live independently and with a decent quality of life, according to youth charity SpunOut.
It comes after a new survey found two-thirds of Irish workers feel disconnected form their job and workplace with close to one-third considering a move abroad.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, SpunOut CEO Ian Power said Millennials are the first generation that will be worse off than their parents – and the cost-of-living crisis is just making things worse.
“The average young person in Ireland today is the best educated in their families’ history, yet their job security is lower, their housing costs are higher and their access to long-term financial security, be it pensions or assets, is completely restricted compared to their parents,” he said.
“In the last few months, obviously, the cost-of-living crisis has dramatically increased cost for loads of things so there is lots of opportunity here, but stagnant wages and the poor quality of life are what is going to contribute to people leaving.”
He said a lot of the issues are worse in Ireland than in other European countries – specifically the extent of the housing crisis.
“If you think about the quality and value of accommodation, it is just so poor,” he said.
“Not everyone has the option to stay living at home. The data tells us young people are forced to stay at home for far longer than their European counterparts.
“Sometimes that’s the only option even just to have any hope of saving for a house deposit. It delays your independence and makes you feel like you’re stagnating and not progressing in life.
“Even for those who are not in that fortunate position to maybe live at home with family, accommodation is really expensive and really poor quality compared to other European cities.
“The opportunity to live an independent life with a decent quality of life is eroding and I think that is posing questions about the social contract more broadly.”
Mr Power said the political system looks increasingly likely to “bottle” the pensions issue – with young people today facing huge taxes to pay for their parent’s retirement.
“At the moment we have four or five workers for every retiree, over time that will fall to just two workers for every retiree,” he said.
“Everybody is acknowledging that probably most people are going to work long beyond the State pension age for many different reasons.
“The state pension age should increase gradually over time and it looks like the political system is going to bottle that.
“I think that is a shame because that is an opportunity to kind of shore up the security and sustainability of the system.”
He called for an intergenerational equity and fairness commission to come up with ways to ensure older generations can help build a brighter future for their younger counterparts.