26 April 2017

I welcome today’s report from the CSO which reveals that as many as as 10.1% of workers earn the National Minimum Wage (NMW) of €9.25 per hour or less.

“When Labour established the Low Pay Commission, we asked the CSO to gather robust information on the prevalence of the NMW to address the yawning gap in terms of hard data.

“The figures published today confirm what I have always thought; that the number of workers earning €9.25 per hour is double the working estimate in government circles.

“However, this data is only as useful as the degree to which government Ministers are prepared to use it to alleviate the scourge of low pay.

“To date, the record of the FG/Independent administration, propped up by Fianna Fáil has been nothing short of insulting.

“The momentum generated by the previous government has now been lost.

“At the rate of increase to the NMW seen in 2017, it will take the government 10 years to reach their own target of a minimum wage of €10.50 per hour.

“This still falls massively short of a Living Wage of €11.50 an hour and Labour has set out a clear roadmap as to how this could have been achieved by 2018.

“To Fine Gael, the idea of ‘making work pay’ is merely an election slogan.

“The NMW needs to be transformed to a national Living Wage to ensure that those who work hard for a living can afford to make ends meet.

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