Appalling 23% gap between living and minimum wage must be closed

Senator Marie Sherlock
20 October 2022
  • Collective Bargaining key to eliminating low pay

Labour spokesperson for workers’ rights, Marie Sherlock has today (Thursday, 20th October) said that the appalling gap of 23% between the living wage and the minimum wage must be closed further and faster by the government.

Responding to the publication of the 2023 Living Wage Technical Groups findings that the Living Wage should be set at €13.85 per hour Senator Sherlock said:

“The Government must act now considering the appalling gap between the wage needed to maintain a minimum a basic standard of living and the new minimum wage that will come into force in January.

“The reality is that there will be a gap of 23% between the living wage and minimum wage and for the 164,700 workers who rely on the minimum wage and the hundreds of thousands more whose wages are benchmarked to it.

“Government is already knowingly introducing a minimum wage rise that is below inflation and which is an effective pay cut for workers who rely on every cent of their wages to get by. Today’s publication must prompt the Government into action. Failure to do so indicates a Government who is all talk about the interests of the low paid workers but will undertake no action.

 “This sharp increase in the Living Wage to €13.85 per hour reflects the continuing failure of the government to bring rents under control, to adequately address the cost of living crisis, and to provide workers with the right to collectively bargain. It also underlines the importance of implementing the recommendations of the high-level report on collective bargaining and the urgent need to transpose the EU directive on Adequate Minimum Wages into Irish law.

“The Living Wage Technical Group has called for a 95 cent increase while the minimum wage increase was only 80 cent. This means low paid workers are falling further behind. We need to reverse this trend.  We believe the Government must give a commitment to introduce an additional increase in the minimum wage to protect our lowest paid workers from the onslaught of runaway inflation. This increase will mean that the Government will go further and faster in achieving its own target of a Living Wage by 2025 and be a major step forward in the elimination of the low-pay business model that has proved so costly to households, businesses and ultimately the Government.”

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