Increased Living Wage figure highlights need to tackle gap between wages and costs

unite-white-out-of-redJuly 4th: Responding to today’s announcement that the 2018 Living Wage has been calculated as €11.90 per hour – a 20 cent increase – trade union Unite said the increase highlights the need to tackle the unsustainable gap between low wages and spiralling costs.

Commenting, Regional Secretary Jackie Pollock said:

“The Living Wage is calculated as the income needed to ensure a minimum acceptable standard of living, and is based on painstaking research into a range of costs as well as taxation impacts.

“The increase announced today is primarily driven by spiralling housing costs, with rents in Dublin now accounting for half a single person’s minimum living costs.

“In addition to addressing costs – primarily the ongoing housing emergency – we need to increase wages through a range of measures, including improved collective bargaining provision.

“It is no coincidence that private sector workers in Ireland are, on average, lower paid than our European peer group. It is because we have lower collective bargaining coverage.

“In the medium term, we also need continued increases in the National Minimum Wage to bring it into line with the Living Wage.

“Low pay and rising costs are not just bad for individual workers:  they are a drain on the economy as a whole. Today’s Living Wage increase again highlights the need to narrow the unsustainable gap between wages and costs”, Jackie Pollock concluded.

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