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Employers should follow IKEA example and introduce Living Wage – Cullinane

20 July, 2015 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin Workers’ Rights spokesperson Senator David Cullinane has said he is dismayed by the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission that the minimum wage be increased by 50 cent.

Senator Cullinane said:

“The Commission’s recommendation beggars belief. The government is due to spend over €350 million this year on subsidising the income of thousands of families in low-paid work.

“In the real world, this means that over 50,000 families and in excess of 100,000 children are dependent on the state ‘top-up’ to make ends-meat.  

“A fifty cent increase in the minimum wage will have absolutely no impact on the issue of in-work poverty or on growing inequality in our society. Sinn Féin have repeatedly called for an initial increase of at least €1 with a guaranteed progression to a Living Wage over a three to four year period.

“I welcome the announcement by IKEA that it is to introduce a Living Wage for its workers in the UK and Ireland. I call on other employers and companies to follow suit and show similar corporate responsibility for its workers.

“Decent pay and good working conditions are good for society and good for the economy. In-work poverty, low pay, and exploitation of workers are costly for society and depress spending power.

“The government has a choice it can reject the recommendation of the Commission and increase the minimum wage by €1. ICTU, Social Justice Ireland, the St Vincent de Paul, TASC, NERI and organisations from across civil society have called for the introduction of a ‘Living Wage’.

“If Labour accept the Commission’s miserly recommendation, they will have well and truly abandoned workers and the issue of workers’ rights.” 

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