Minimum Wage: Government must set aside Low Pay Commission recommendation

Unite accuses Government of ripping up Living Wage commitment

Unite this morning (Wednesday) called on the Government to set aside the Low Pay Commission report which recommends an increase in the hourly Minimum Wage of just 80 cent to €11.30.  Unite, which earlier this year made a submission to the Low Pay Commission calling for the Minimum Wage to be increased to €12.50, said that the proposed 80 cent increase means that the Government has effectively ‘ripped up’ its commitment to move to a Living Wage by the end of its term in office.  The recommendation is going to Cabinet this morning.

Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“Earlier this year, Unite recommended increasing the Minimum Wage to €12.50 per hour as part of a two-year strategy to increase the Minimum Wage to 66% of median earnings, which would equate to approximately €14.95 in 2024.  66% of median earnings is internationally accepted as the low pay threshold, and thus the Living Wage benchmark.

“It should be noted that the trade union representatives on the Low Pay Commission dissented from the recommendation.

“Last week the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, in its pre-Budget Submission, restated the view of the trade union movement that the Minimum Wage should be raised to the Living Wage – a view endorsed in a statement by a group of private sector unions including Unite.

“By deciding to accept the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation, the Government would not only be ignoring the voice of the trade union movement and the workers we represent:  it would also be ripping up its own commitment, in the Programme for Government, to move to the Living Wage by the end of the Coalition’s lifetime. 

“If the Government is serious about addressing the cost of living crisis, which impacts disproportionately on the lowest paid, it must set aside the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation and announce a significant increase in the Minimum Wage which will make real progress to the Government’s Living Wage commitment”, Mr Fitzgerald concluded.

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