Government must set out a road map to a Living Wage

05 July 2017

Labour Party spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Alan Kelly TD, has welcomed the announcement by the Living Wage Technical Group that the Living Wage has increased to €11.70 per hour. Deputy Kelly has called on the Government to set out a clear road map as to how we can transform the National Minimum Wage to a Living Wage

Deputy Kelly commented:

“One in five people working in Ireland earn less than the Living Wage. That means nearly 400,000 people are getting up early in the morning but not earning enough to live.

“As a society, Ireland has a decision to make. We can choose to develop as a high-wage, highly skilled knowledge economy, developing more and better jobs, and improving living standards for all our people. Or we can fall into the trap of becoming a low skill, low wage economy, and condemn large numbers of people to low pay. The Labour Party unequivocally rejects this race to the bottom approach, and is committed to developing an economy with equal opportunity and decent living standards for all.

“Introducing a living wage in Ireland could potentially represent significant savings for the exchequer because less money would be spent by Government on income support supplements for those on low pay. It would also put more money back into peoples’ pockets, which would increase consumer demand in the economy.

“At the rate of increase to the National Minimum Wage seen in 2017, it will take the Government ten 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 €11.70 an hour and Labour has set out a clear road map as to how this could have been achieved by 2018.

“It seems that to Fine Gael, the notion of making work pay is a slogan that only means something at election time. The Government needs to take heed of what the Living Wage Technical Group are saying and take steps to transform the minimum wage to a national Living Wage to ensure that those who work hard for a living can afford to make ends meet.

“The Government now needs to set out a clear road map as to how a real Living Wage can be met.”

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