Taoiseach accepts Labour’s demand to address apprenticeship pay
- Calls for reinstatement of the Eviction Ban
Responding to Labour leader and housing spokesperson during Leaders’ Questions today, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed the need to address apprenticeship pay.
Government, he said, will request more time for the Low Pay Commission to consider Labour’s proposals.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Finally, Government are taking on board constructive proposals from Labour when it comes to housing. Today, Labour published a Bill to provide apprentices with access to the minimum wage in an effort to address the critical shortage of construction workers in Ireland.
“The month of May is when we celebrate the successes and the struggles of workers. The housing crisis is a workers’ rights crisis. Too many people in this country are living in unsuitable accommodation, commuting far too long to the office or having to forego their dream job because they simply can’t afford to rent in the region. Something must change.
“On Friday we learned that homelessness figures have risen yet again – to almost 12,000 people – a 2.1% increase. Despite the spin and bluster from this conservative coalition, housing remains an out and out disaster. Each of these numbers represents a life, be that a child living in uncertainty, a parent trying to keep a brave face or an elderly person living in fear. These new figures don’t begin capture those living in hidden homelessness or the thousands for emigrating for lack of affordable housing.
“In light of this, I urge Government to reintroduce an eviction ban to offer more to those living in insecure accommodation. The 11,988 people currently living in homelessness deserve far more than what the coalition of convenience has offered. They have been left behind, out in the cold, while last week’s mini budget simply put more money into the pockets of private developers.
“We in Labour have consistently advocated for state led and council led constructive emergency housing solutions, but we have yet to see any of them taken on board. In a crisis, all that one can control is the controllables. We urge Government to reconsider its position on the eviction ban.”