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Workers can’t wait for a living wage - Louise O’Reilly TD

14 June, 2022 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that the Tánaiste should introduce a Living Wage in Budget 2023 to help tackle low pay and the cost-of-living crisis for workers instead of waiting four years to do so.

Teahcta O’Reilly said:

“Today’s announcement by the Tánaiste that the government intends to implement a Living Wage by 2026 is welcome. 

“But the reality is workers cannot wait this long - the measure should be introduced in Budget 2023.

“Indeed, the Tánaiste, and the Low Pay Commission, should consider using the Living Wage set by the Living Wage Technical Group instead of trying to set a lower rate using 60 percent of the median wage as the figure.

“The Living Wage Technical Group calculated the true Living Wage as €12.90 per hour in 2021, this will no doubt increase in 2022 when they make their recommendations based on the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) formula.

“By contrast, under the model proposed by the Tánaiste, workers would be worse off by close to a euro per hour, and they would have to wait four years for it.

“In the past number of months there has been increases in rents, fuel, food and energy costs, to name but a few, which has meant the cost of living has spiralled out of control for workers.

“Therefore, there is an immediate need to move to a Living Wage to tackle low pay and the cost-of-living crisis. Indeed, Germany has just increased their minimum wage to €12.00 per hour from 1st October, a 22 per cent increase, to tackle low pay and the cost-of-living crisis in the country.

“Sinn Féin has a published plan outlining how to immediately deliver a Living Wage with appropriate legal protections for businesses who can show they cannot afford it.  

“I would call on the government to work with Sinn Féin and all those committed to a Living Wage and begin preparations to deliver a Living Wage for workers in Budget 2023.”

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