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Reducing the minimum wage is not an option - Ó Snodaigh

22 July, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Responding to the Finance Minister’s suggestion that the minimum wage could be reduced Sinn Féin Dublin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said that any such move is simply not an option and noted, “the minimum wage has played an important role in keeping Ireland’s lowest paid workers out of the poverty trap. Brian Lenihan knows that the right to an annual wage of €18,000 has not adversely affected Ireland’s competitiveness.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“The politics behind the demand of business representative groups for the minimum wage to be reduced is as old as history.

“What IBEC and the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan know but will not admit is that Ireland’s competitiveness has been held back by decades of underinvestment in critical infrastructure and services, an over reliance on FDI, a failure to foster and development a widespread culture of innovation and bloated senior management pay in the private and public sectors. Wage restraint needs to happen from the top down, not the bottom up.

“Cutting the minimum wage would be a massively retrograde step and far from addressing the shortfalls in Irish competitiveness it would instead increase the numbers caught in the poverty net thus further burdening the public purse. Someone always had to pick up the tab and naturally representatives groups like IBEC and individuals like Colm McCarthy fight to ensure that the most privileged and well off in Irish society are protected. However government’s role is to support and protect the interests of all Irish citizens equally.” ENDS

Responding to the Finance Minister’s suggestion that the minimum wage could be reduced Sinn Féin Dublin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has said that any such move is simply not an option and noted, “the minimum wage has played an important role in keeping Ireland’s lowest paid workers out of the poverty trap. Brian Lenihan knows that the right to an annual wage of €18,000 has not adversely affected Ireland’s competitiveness.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“The politics behind the demand of business representative groups for the minimum wage to be reduced is as old as history.

“What IBEC and the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan know but will not admit is that Ireland’s competitiveness has been held back by decades of underinvestment in critical infrastructure and services, an over reliance on FDI, a failure to foster and development a widespread culture of innovation and bloated senior management pay in the private and public sectors. Wage restraint needs to happen from the top down, not the bottom up.

“Cutting the minimum wage would be a massively retrograde step and far from addressing the shortfalls in Irish competitiveness it would instead increase the numbers caught in the poverty net thus further burdening the public purse. Someone always had to pick up the tab and naturally representatives groups like IBEC and individuals like Colm McCarthy fight to ensure that the most privileged and well off in Irish society are protected. However government’s role is to support and protect the interests of all Irish citizens equally.” E

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