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Low Pay Commission decides to do exactly what is says on the tin – Tóibín

18 July, 2015

Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Peadar Tóibín has expressed serious disappointment at the news that the Low Pay Commission will only increase the minimum wage by 50 cents an hour. According to An Teachta Tóibín, this will mean that a person working 39 hours a week will earn 356.85 an increase of €19.50 a week. This is well below the 2/3's of the median wage which the minimum wage was originally designed to track in order to keep people out of poverty.

An Teachta Tóibín said:

"Politicians often set low expectations in order to exceed later, but Minister Jed Nash has underwhelmed even his lowly set expectations. Ireland has one of the highest rates of low pay in the OECD and of underemployment in the EU28. The truth is the majority of those families suffering from ‘in work poverty’ will continue to do so after today’s decision.  Those struggling to deal will spiralling rents and house prices will gain little relief in this decision.  

"Costly in-work social protection supports whilst vital for families to ensure they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their head, also act as a subsidy to poor paying businesses. This is likely to continue under the government’s regime.  

"The Low Pay Commission could have been so much more. It could have raised the Minimum Wage by €1 an hour. It could have been extended to include the wage share of national income, the role of wages as source of demand and also the damaging economic and social effect of high levels of low pay. It could also have been designed to monitor and enforce the law with regards the minimum wage."

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