18 March 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Pressure to increase the minimum wage has increased with the news that the minimum wage is to be increased in the UK from October.
However, Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Mick Barry this morning said that the planned increase in the UK minimum wage is “paltry” and called for a far greater increase in the Irish rate.
The minimum wage in the UK is to be increased by 20p from £6.50 per hour to £6.70 per hour from October, an increase of 3%.
Here in Ireland the Low Pay Commission is expected to make a recommendation to Government for an increase later this year.
Cllr Barry said this morning that a 3% increase here would still leave the minimum wage at less than 9 euro an hour and that this would be less than what is needed to survive on especially in the context of rising rents.
He said: “The British Government is a Conservative Government which wants to boost the profits of big business by operating a low wage economy. Their example is not an example Irish workers will want to see copied in this State.”
Cllr Barry said that the Anti Austerity Alliance will campaign for a 50% increase in the minimum wage to bring the rate up to 13 euro an hour by the end of the year and encouraged other workers’ organisations to raise their voice on this issue.
He said: “The largest cohort of people living in poverty in this state are working for a living – the working poor. Ireland is a wealthy country and wage poverty should be abolished here with a decisive increase in the minimum wage by the end of this year.”