Phil Flanagan MLA, Sinn Féin Vice-Chair of the Assembly Enterprise Committee (DETI) has called on Minister Arlene Foster to bring forward a detailed action plan for creating jobs paying a living wage.
Phil Flanagan was speaking on the findings of a report commissioned by Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Mr Flanagan said:
“Sinn Féin brought forward a motion to the Assembly at the end of last year expressing our serious concerns at the numbers of employees working for less than a living wage with many also on zero hours contracts.
“At that time a KPMG Report indicated 26% of workers were being paid less than a living wage with young people, women and part-time workers disproportionately affected.
“Now we have a further report, prepared by the New Policy Institute (NPI) for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), indicating continued falling incomes for families across the social spectrum here.
“The Rowntree Report shows that incomes for the poorest 20% of residents here is £39 a week- over £2,000 a year - lower than in Britain.
“I am reiterating Sinn Féin’s call on Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster as a matter of urgency, to bring forward a detailed action plan for creating jobs paying a living wage.
“In the interim the Executive should collectively encourage employers to ensure socially and morally acceptable terms of employment for all workers and to provide continuous professional development for staff.” CRÍOCH/ENDS