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Living Wage gets Labour Lip Service – Tóibín

30 September, 2015

Sinn Féin TD and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation spokesperson Peadar Tóibín accused the Labour Party of paying lip service to the Living Wage at today's Forum.  

An Teachta Tóibín said:

“Ireland has one of the highest rates of low pay in the OECD and of underemployment in the EU28. There are 698,000 or nearly one in seven people in Ireland are in poverty. Over 211,000 of these are children. 16% of those in work are in consistent poverty. Fifty percent of women are currently earning €20,000 or less a year. If the Labour Party meant business they would not have separated out the Living Wage from the statutory Low Pay Commission which just convened last July.

“The Low Pay Commission should have included the Living Wage. It should have also included the key role of housing, health, education, childcare in tackling the poverty. It should have identified the effect of precarious work and zero and low hour contracts have in in-work poverty. It should have studied the economic cost of endemic low wages and stimulus effect of a decent living wage. It should have also set out employment monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.  

“Sinn Féin has made a commitment to introduce a Living Wage. My colleague An Seanadóir David Cullinane will publish a report at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation which will set out a road map on how it can be achieved.

“The truth is that the cost of the Living Wage cannot be placed completely on the employer. A living wage is a function of the social transfers of decent public services and the wage that is paid to employees. By vandalising public services in the last 4 years the government have in actually fact increased the proportion of an individual’s living costs that need to be met by wages. This in turn puts upward pressure on wages.” 

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