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Ferris condemns ‘immoral’ cut to minimum wage

15 December, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers Rights Martin Ferris TD strongly condemned the cut to the minimum wage and called for it to be reversed. He was speaking in support of a Private Members Bill in the Dáil this evening.

Deputy Ferris also called on Government TDs opposed to the cut to vote with the opposition and said:

“I was outside here at the protest of workers on the minimum wage last Friday and heard exactly what this will mean to them. I would challenge anyone in this House or anyone in IBEC or ISME or the Hotels Federation or any of those right wing economists and journalists who were advocating cutting the minimum wage to look these people in the face and justify this malicious attack on the working poor.

“We hear a lot about encouraging people to take whatever jobs that are going and god knows there are few enough of them. People on the minimum wage are people who went out and took hard low paying employment. This is the thanks they are being given.

“I would also like to refer to the claim by Deputies Gormley and Sargent that the cut in the minimum wage was forced on the Government as part of the IMF EU bailout for the banks.

“If you sell your soul to the IMF on the part of your banker and speculator and bondholder friends this is the price that will be paid. Not by the elite of course but by the person serving your meal, cleaning your office or handing you your groceries.

“Cutting the minimum wage encapsulates what bringing in the IMF actually means. In the starkest way possible it is a statement that even the lowest paid, the working poor, are to be forced to pay for the incompetence and gambling and let us call a spade a spade the corruption of a bankrupt elite.

“It also sums up in a nutshell the degeneration of the Fianna Fáil party. A party that came to power initially on a wave of popular opposition to the austerity policies of Cumann na nGaedhael is going to leave power and leave it for a long, long time I suspect, with a vicious, immoral and economically illogical attack on the sort of people who put it into power in the first instance and kept it there for many decades after that.

“A party that once attacked the banks and the unproductive wealthy as anti national parasites and speculators is going to end its days by taking €40 a week out of the pockets of cleaners and hotel workers to pay for the betrayal of their modern day counterparts.

“That is the way they will be remembered.” ENDS

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