06 January 2017

Labour spokesperson on workers rights, Senator Ged Nash has said it is time Independent Ministers were judged on their actions and not their entertainment value. Senator Nash said:

“It is time John Halligan started to behave like a Minister and deliver on the things he tells the media he believes in.

“In an interview today the Minister of State at the Department of Jobs emotes about how the National Minimum Wage of €9.25 should be converted to a Living Wage of €11.50 per hour.

“This comes from a member of a government that introduced a miserable 10 cent an hour increase for the lowest paid workers in Ireland!

“Somebody should break it gently to John that he signed off on a €10.50 national minimum wage rate during the lifetime of this government as recently as last May.

“Not only is this some considerable distance off a Living Wage of €11.50, but at the rate of increase we have seen this year it will take 15 years for the Minister and his Fine Gael colleagues to reach their own inadequate target.

“As Minister Halligan publicly struggles with his conscience again, many low paid workers continue the more important struggle with rent, mortgages and household bills.

“Nothing we have seen to date from the Independent Alliance will give the low paid any real hope that the scourge of low pay, uncertain hours and insecurity will be tackled in any meaningful way by this government.

“I challenge Minister Halligan to carry on the work Labour started in the Department of Jobs during the tenure of the previous government on the Living Wage, on changing the law on “if & when” contracts and addressing casualisation in the workplace.

“The Independent Alliance have been indulged for long enough and it is time they started to be judged on their actions, not their entertainment value.

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