Nash calls on government to act on living wage

11 July 2016

Earlier today the Living Wage Technical Group reported that the living wage rate for 2016 is €11.50. I am calling on the government to act on this recommendation and to set out a roadmap to introduce a living wage to Ireland. 

The introduction of a living wage in London has been effective in improving working standards and increasing consumer demand in the local economy.

There is also a clear business case for a living wage. Companies there who have paid the living wage report improved staff morale, better retention rates and higher productivity.

It is a core value of the Labour Party’s that people receive a fair days pay for a fair days work.

In government Labour established the first Living Wage Forum, increased the minimum wage twice and strengthened the rights of working people to negotiate with their employers over improving pay and conditions. We actively reached out to employers with the result that major companies such as Lidl, Aldi and SSE Airtricity pay their staff the living wage. There is no such commitment or activism from Fine Gael or the all mouth and no trousers brigade in the Independent Alliance.

The newly elected Labour Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr has said he wants Dublin to become a living wage city.

However, this government has sidelined the interests of working people by not having any commitment to introducing a living wage in the Programme for Government.

The Irish economy is the fastest growing in the European Union it is only right and fair that all working people earn a decent wage.

I hope the government does the right thing and changes their unfair stance and introduces a roadmap for a living wage.
As a first step, the government should make sure that all of those who are employed by the State are paid the living wage of €11.50 per hour.

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