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Ferris Rejects Call to Freeze Minimum Wage

21 July, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers Rights, Martin Ferris TD, has rejected a call from IBEC for the Minimum Wage to be frozen. He was responding to a claim by Brendan McGinty that this was an essential element to allowing businesses to recover.

Deputy Ferris said: “IBEC’s call for the Minimum Wage to be frozen is only the latest in a series of moves to undermine the living standards of low paid workers. We have already seen cuts in the wages of low paid public servants and the Government had indicated a number of months ago that it would introduce legislative changes to allow companies to opt out of agreed minimum rates on the basis of an ‘inability to pay’ clause.

“This is not acceptable and merely seeks to put the onus for the economic crisis on those least able to afford any further cuts in their wages and living standards. The Minimum Wage as it stands is already at a low level and one wonders how IBEC imagine people would be able to survive if they were forced to live on even less than that. There is also a huge level of hypocrisy on both the part of the employers organisations and the Government. While they are happy to advocate and implement wage cuts, they are also content to basically allow the state to subsidise low paying employers through the Family Income Supplement.

“My party and I am certain the trade union movement will be vigoursly opposing any moves to freeze the Minimum Wage and other agreed minimum rates wherever that attempt is made, including through changes to existing labour legislation.”

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