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State picks up the tab for companies who refuse to pay staff adequately – Quinlivan

22 May, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has today said that the rise in the number of people in receipt of the Family Income Support (FIS) payment shows that many jobs being created by this government are in the lowest wage bracket. 

Speaking in Limerick, Teachta Quinlivan said;

“The FIS payment is an in-work support, which provides an income top-up for employees on low earnings. Figures provided to me in response to a Parliamentary Question show that the number of people in receipt of FIS has increased from 44,159 in 2013 to 56,833 in 2017. 

“This is almost a 30% increase in just 3 years, which corresponds with a rise in the numbers in employment over the same period. As a result, you can draw an inference from this data that the jobs being created by this government are in the lowest wage bracket. 

“Decreases in unemployment are always welcome; however we must ensure that those returning to work are paid fairly and have enough to live on. These figures show this is not currently happening.

“Last week, I called on the government to increase the minimum wage immediately to the Programme for Government’s commitment of €10.50, and to pledge to introduce the Living Wage of €11.50 per hour. This was flatly rejected by Fine Gael. The minimum wage needs to increase immediately just to keep in line with the skyrocketing cost of living. 

“Irish workers put up with austerity for long enough over the last decade, and it is because of them, that now the economy is recovering. They deserve fairer treatment and better wages and we have to address this issue of low paid employees. This issue of low pay effects a massive number of people, in fact 35% of all workers across Ireland are earning below €400 per week.

“The estimated spend on FIS this year is €422 million. The state should not have to supplement the wages of workers as a result of companies refusing to pay employees enough to live on, while at the same time the majority of these companies post huge profits. This is a farcical situation, and shows the need for immediate action in this area.” 

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