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Living wage needed, not minimum wage

12 September, 2007

Sue Ramsey MLA Sinn Féin Assembly Chairperson of the committe for Employment and Learning has said yesterday following an Assembly debate that any variation on the minimum wage would be detremental to working class communitites.

Ms Ramsey said:

"Any proposal by Gordon Brown to introduce regional variations to the minimum wage should be opposed completely. This is a blatant attempt to drive down salary and wage levels across the board.

"Rather than floating this neo-liberal idea, a living wage should be introduced and 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.

"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." Críoch

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