Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McLaughlin vows to fight minimum wage cuts tooth and nail

25 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Economic spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has pledged that the party will fight any attempts by the British government to lower the minimum wage here.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Féin will use every avenue available to fight any suggestion that the minimum wage in the North should be reduced. Any such action would impose an intolerable financial burden on the most vulnerable in our society.

"People in the north of Ireland are already among the lowest paid workers in these islands as a result of successive administrations marketing it as a low wage economy. Statistics also show that we pay more for housing, food, fuel and energy leaving us with less disposable income.

"Rather than reduce the minimum wage, Gordon Browne should be focussing his energies on ways to grow the economy here by supporting policies designed to attract jobs at the higher end of the wage spectrum.

"This approach highlights the irony that Gordon Browne sees no barrier to having variable rates of pay while at the same time insisting that there can't be variable tax rates. It also demonstrates the negative impact of being tied to Whitehall fiscal policy and supports Sinn Féin's call for the Assembly to have tax varying powers." ENDS

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