12 October 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Anti Austerity Alliance TD Mick Barry this morning slammed yesterday’s Budget announcement that the national minimum wage will be set at a rate of 9.25 euro an hour next year – an increase of just 10 cent.
He said: “Yesterday, one of the best paid Finance Ministers in Europe unveiled a Budget which told the lowest paid workers in Ireland that they would have to survive on poverty pay rates for
yet another year.”
Deputy Barry said that the “miserable” increase in the minimum wage rate would directly affect 70,000 workers but would indirectly affect 100,000s. He argued that the minimum wage sets the floor which underpins the wages structure and that the knock on effect of such a small increase will be to increase the likelihood that 100,000s of low paid workers will be kept in the low pay trap.
A report from the OECD in 2013 found that 23.3pc of Irish workers are low paid and the Unite “The Truth About Irish Wages” report this summer effectively described Ireland as a low pay economy.
Deputy Barry said this morning that the Programme for Government had pledged to increase the national minimum wage to 10.50 euro per hour but that at a rate of increase of 10 cent an hour that it would take 13 years to reach that figure.
The Anti Austerity Alliance stands for an immediate increase in the national minimum wage to 12 euro an hour as a step towards 15 euro an hour by 2018.