Minimum wage must be transformed to a real living wage

Labour spokesperson on Employment Affairs & Social Protection, Senator Ged Nash, has said that that the National Minimum Wage must be transformed to a real Living Wage of €11.90 per hour.

Senator Nash said:

“Today, the Low Pay Commission has published a report recommending that the National Minimum Wage goes up to €9.80 per hour on the 1st January, an increase of 25 cent on the current hourly rate.

“This is the third annual report on the minimum wage received by this government from the body which I set up in July 2015.

“If this recommendation is accepted by government, the minimum wage will have increased by 70 cent during its period in office.

“I am convinced that if it were not for the establishment of the Commission and its requirement in law to report annually on a recommended rate for the minimum wage, the likelihood of any increases at all in the statutory minimum hourly rate in Ireland over the last two years would be remote.

“According to the CSO, there are around 130,000 workers on the national minimum wage. If the government is serious about reaching its own published target, then they need to work closely with the Low Pay Commission to develop a road map to €10.50 which in itself is €1.40 short of a Living Wage which now stands at €11.90 per hour.

“Nevertheless, this is a welcome albeit small increase in the pay packets of the 130,000 lowest paid workers in Ireland.

“The best advice I can give to the government is to change the functions of the Low Pay Commission and empower it in law to develop a roadmap to reach a Living Wage for all working people in Ireland to make sure that work truly does pay.”