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Low wage lobby cannot be allowed to dictate post-Brexit narrative – Tóibín

17 August, 2016

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Peadar Tóibín TD, responding to reports that the Government are considering rowing back on a proposed minimum wage increase in October’s budget, has said that those opposed to a modest increase in the minimum wage cannot be allowed to dictate the post-Brexit narrative.

Teachta Tóibín said:

“There has been increasing speculation in recent days that the proposed 10c increase to the national minimum wage as recommended by the Low Pay Commission is to be scrapped by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD following intense lobbying by those opposed to the minimum wage.

“In the post-Brexit environment, we cannot allow strong lobbyists who are out of touch with the needs of ordinary workers to set the agenda at a time when the cost of living crisis in the State - in insurance costs, mortgages, rents, and childcare is spiralling out of control. 

“Everyone acknowledges that Brexit, and in particular the low value of Sterling at present, will place pressures on Irish businesses and the Government needs to immediately engage with all relevant stakeholders to implement a strategy to ensure any threats are minimised, but any move to deny low paid workers a timely reprieve must be resisted.

“The attempts by some to dominate the post-Brexit narrative in their own interests only further feed the view that the Government is asleep at the wheel in responding to the challenges of Brexit and reinforces the need to establish the proposed all-Ireland forum as soon as possible.” 

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