Hard working people need a pay rise

04 July 2023

Speaking from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) biennial conference in Kilkenny, Labour finance spokesperson, Ged Nash has called for a national pay increase.

Deputy Nash said:

“Real wage reductions remain a very serious issue for workers, particularly in the context of exorbitant profits by business.

“At the start of the cost of living and inflation crisis, this government was warning workers not to seek pay rises.

“They issued no such warnings to big business who have gone on to post record profits and engage in a level of profit taking that the ECB and others have said has fuelled inflation.

“Labour is urging all employers to look at themselves and ask; am I paying a fair and decent wage to my employees?

“Ireland needs a pay rise. Government must be a leader here and provide decent pay increases to those working in the public sector, especially at a time when government itself has recognised the State is too small and needs to be expanded.

“With corporate profits reaching almost €30 billion in Ireland, last year and up 30% on an annual basis, there are companies in this country boosting their own cash reserves and paying out enormous dividends at the expense of ensuring that workers can survive a cost-of-living crisis, some of which has been driven by companies’ own profiteering.

“While nominal wages have risen across most sectors of the economy, the reality is that the vast majority of workers are experiencing real wage reductions. For the first time since 2013, living standards in Ireland have slipped.

“This all points to a very real need for Government to support the wages of low and middle-income workers. It is vital that the National Minimum Wage is raised above inflation, benefitting not only the 166,000 workers on the minimum wage but the hundreds of thousands who earn just above it. We must also move more quickly and purposefully to a real living wage.

“Crucially, Government must use the €18.5 billion budget that it spends on procuring goods, services and works in this country to ensure that each of its suppliers embraces collective bargaining and pays a decent wage.”

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