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Quinlivan welcomes Minister Halligan’s stance on living wage

31 July, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD today welcomed Minister John Halligan’s assertion that a living wage should be introduced in the upcoming budget.

Minister Halligan last week criticised the proposed 3% increase recommended by the Low Pay Commission and today said the Independent Alliance would be pushing for a living wage to be introduced in the upcoming budget.

Speaking today, Teachta Quinlivan said:

“I very much welcome these comments today by Minister Halligan. It is long past time the government realised the low minimum wage is resulting in workers not being able to make ends meet.

“Sinn Féin supports the introduction of a living wage as it is a wage which makes possible a minimum acceptable standard of living.

“The current minimum wage of €9.25 per hour is not enough. A worker on this rate, working a full 40 hour week, will earn €370 per week, €1,603 per month or €19,240 per year, before tax.

“The cost of living in Ireland is a serious problem for many workers earning this amount. Major costs such as housing, car insurance, childcare, and transport costs all have a major impact on people on this income.

“Considering just one of these costs, rent; the average nationwide rent in 2017 is €1,131 a month, giving an insight into how difficult it can be for workers on the minimum wage to make ends meet.

“Introducing a living wage will have a number of beneficial impacts. First and foremost, workers and their families will enjoy greater financial security and a better standard of living.

“Secondly, it will reduce the number of workers reliant on the family income supplement payment, which currently stands at 57,000 and will cost €422 million this year, saving a considerable amount for the state.

“Thirdly, as people will be on higher wages, more workers will contribute to the overall tax take, benefiting investment in public services.

“And finally, people will have more disposable income, resulting in greater consumer spending which would benefit local businesses.

“I hope Minister Halligan and his Independent Alliance colleagues stick by their convictions on this issue and use their influence in government to ensure a living wage is introduced.” 

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