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Fall in average earnings more evidence Fine Gael and Labour failing to deliver a fair recovery – Tóibín

16 June, 2015

Following publication today of the CSOs Earnings and Labour Costs data for 2014 Sinn Féin Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín described average earnings in the accommodation and food services sector as poverty wages, describing the fall in average earnings as further evidence of government’s failure to deliver a fair recovery.  

The Meath West TD said:

“Time and again Fine Gael and Labour claim that the recovery is ‘all about jobs’, yet what we see from the CSOs figures is that people are working harder for less with a fall in average earnings in 2014.  In fact average earnings are less now than they were when government entered office in 2011. 

“It is important to note that these figures are only averages. Of the sectors identified by CSO just over half of these have seen earnings rise over the last five years. We’ve seen a 10.6% fall for those working in education and 11.5% decline for those working in health. Most of the very sharp falls in these sectors have occurred on Fine Gael and Labour’s watch. This is one of the factors behind the crisis in our health system and the challenges facing the education sector.

“Even in some sectors, such as industry and construction where earnings have seen modest increases in earnings in recent years, this can be attributed to increased overtime. 

“It is also worth noting that we have seen from high profile and local disputes on construction sites, including on public works projects, the national minimum wage is repeatedly being breached and bogus self-employment arrangements are imposed on vulnerable workers desperate to take up work. 

“Average earnings in the accommodation and food services remain very low at just 47% of average earnings, and in the wholesale and retail trade 76% of average pay.  Today’s figures are further proof that Fine Gael and Labour are not delivering a fair recovery.”

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