Little comfort for low paid and disabled workers in Budget 2023

27 September 2022

• Budget more about buying time for an out of touch Government

Labour employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock has said Budget 2023 provides little comfort for low paid and disabled workers and that the Government has again failed to recognise the massive challenges they face.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Low paid single workers earning between €23k and €36k will see a miserly €4 extra in take home pay per week while all those earning above will get €831 extra per year or €16 per week. These are the low paid workers who are being screwed by a dysfunctional rental market and will only ever dream of having the security of owning their own home. As it stands, inflation is running at almost three times average wage increases and inflation is likely to hit double digits this winter. A low wage worker getting the national average wage increase of just over 3% will, with the meagre benefit of today’s tax changes, experience a real cut to their take home pay of somewhere of the order of 6% coming into 2023.

“Separately the Labour Party, called for an energy wage subsidy scheme in our Alternative Budget to ensure no job is lost this winter because of the massive increase in energy bills. Today’s proposal by the Government which is set to cost the taxpayer an unknown cost comes with little detail and no conditions. If the Government is going to be on the hook for 20% or more of qualifying firm’s energy bills then it is absolutely vital that strict conditionality of no pay cuts, no redundancies and no dividends must be put in place. The new energy subsidy to business must be, first and foremost, about protecting jobs and securing incomes this winter.

“The lump sum payment to the working family payment recipients and the once off cost of disability payment will provide welcome relief to low income families and disabled workers if they are eligible for a disability or blind pension. Ultimately this budget is designed to get people to get to Christmas. The reality is that the cost of living is set to hit double digits by this winter so Budget 2023 is only about buying time for this out of touch Government.”

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