Pay increases needed now to combat spiralling cost of living says Nash
Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has said that pay rises across the economy are needed now and that wage increases must form a major part of the solution to combat the spiralling cost of living.
Deputy Nash said:
“We all know wages are struggling to keep up with inflation. Despite pay rises negotiated by unions over the last year, inflation is running at such a pace that wages and living standards are actually falling.
“Over one in five workers in Ireland are low paid. Ireland needs a pay rise. We know increases in take home pay, especially for those who are experiencing the sharp end of rising energy and food prices, can do the heavy lifting to protect people from spiralling inflation.
“The reality is that inflation is being driven by energy and transport costs and wage increases will not push them higher because they are set by global markets outside the direct control of the State. Over the last year inflation rose by over 5%. Energy and petrol costs rose by 30%. This is unsustainable. It will only lead to more people running to stand still and ending up in poverty throughout the country.
“Coming out of this pandemic, people are demanding a new and better deal in work. Nowhere is this more urgent than the issue of low pay. Ireland is a low wage Republic – one of the worst in the EU – with hundreds of thousands working on precarious contracts. This obscenity needs to stop.
“The Government has the power to take a lead on this. They can start by unequivocally backing calls for pay increases across the economy and introduce a living wage for all public sector workers and those providing services for the public sector.
“The Low Pay Commission should also heed our calls for an immediate increase to the minimum wage. Increasing wages is just one way to help get us through this crisis but we need it be official government policy to make it work.”