Cost of living crisis driving widening gap between Living Wage and statutory wage floor
Responding to today’s announcement that the Living Wage Technical Group has calculated the new Living Wage as €13.85 per hour, an increase of 95 cent on the previous rate of €12.90, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald called on the Government to announce a supplementary increase to the National Minimum Wage to help bridge the widening gap between the Living Wage and the statutory wage floor.
Commenting, Mr Fitzgerald said:
“Last month, the Government accepted the Low Pay Commission’s majority recommendation that it be increased by just 80 cent, ignoring the views of the Congress representatives on the Commission, the wider trade union movement and the workers we represent.
“Unlike the National Minimum Wage, the figure calculated and announced by the Living Wage Technical Group today reflects the income actually needed to ensure a minimum acceptable standard of living during a cost-of-living crisis, and is based on painstaking research into a range of costs.
“Today’s announcement by the Living Wage Technical Group means that the gap between the Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage has widened further and will be €2.55 even after the 80 cent increase to the National Minimum Wage takes effect on 1 January.
“The Government should now announce a significant supplementary increase to the Minimum Wage to take effect in the spring, on top of the 80 cent increase already announced.
“As well as relieving some of the inflationary pressures on the lowest-paid, such a move would also help support domestic demand, thus reducing the threat of a recession”, Mr Fitzgerald concluded.