Tackling low pay is an equality issue – Nash

01 November 2017

Commenting on the launch of the ESRI study into the minimum wage in Ireland, Labour Party spokesperson on Employment, Senator Ged Nash has said that the Government must make moves to introduce a living wage.

Senator Nash said:

“One of the first tasks I gave to the Low Pay Commission was to undertake a major piece of research into the underlying reasons why there is a preponderance of women on the National Minimum Wage.

“This study by the ESRI makes clear that tackling low pay is a women’s rights and equality issue.

“More than 70% of those on the minimum wage are women. Despite the fight for equal pay for equal work, some sectors, which are predominantly female in their workforce, have appallingly low rates of pay. These include child-care and retail.

“At the rate of increase to the NMW 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 roadmap as to how this could be achieved.

“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 and get up early in the morning can afford to make ends meet.”

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