Are youths a priority? Government, KNŻ disagree

Cabinet reshuffle disappoints youths’s representatives

Miguela Xuereb

The National Youth Council (KNŻ) expressed its disappointment following the Government’s reshuffle. The representatives of young people claim that young people are no longer a priority in the eyes of the Prime Minister.

However, in its reaction the government said that such assessment was incorrect, with the parliamentary secretariat for youths and non-governmental organization saying that it was only in the last years following a change in the cabinet that youths were on the government’s agenda.

KNŻ was surprised by the exclusion of the youth sector from the Parliamentary Secretariat for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organizations especially when the National Youth Policy is currently being formed.

The Council appreciates that the reshuffle brought a new generation of Parliamentarians in Cabinet. However, this can’t eliminate the fact that young people are no longer seen as a priority by the Government, said KNŻ.

The Council is requesting that the Government corrects this error in the Government Memorandum to give a clear indication of where and how the youth sector will be treated.

Government reacts

In a statement, the parliamentary secretariat responsible for youths, said that following changes in the cabinet composition, youths are a priority for the government, and even more so due to the new ministry which will focus on inclusion and the quality of life.

“Youths were and are a priority for this government,” the statement needs.

It added that the secretariat has reached out to the National Youth Council and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ to hold a meeting in the coming days. The secretariat said the consultation process on the national youth policy is ongoing and will come to an end on 4 December.

“Youths know where they stand with this government. It is this government which year after year has helped young couples buy their first and second property, increased stipends, and implemented vote 16,” the parliamentary secretariat said.