Press Release

National Minimum Wage continues to chase the Living Wage as the economy roars - Congress

Date Released: 19 July 2018

Today, the Low Pay Commission recommended to the Government that the hourly rate of the National Minimum Wage be increased by 0.25c, from €9.55 to €9.80 per hour. Workers on a 39-hours contract would see their gross wage increase by €9.75 a week under this proposal.

Earlier this month, the Living Wage Technical Group calculated the hourly pay required by a full-time worker without children to afford a socially acceptable standard of living in 2018 at €11.90, an increase of 0.20c per hour on 2017.

Acknowledging the Commission’s recommendation, Irish Congress of Trade Unions Industrial Officer Liam Berney said: “The Commission is to be commended for their work and for bringing forward a proposed increase that would narrow the gap between the Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage, albeit marginally”.

“Should this increase come into effect after Budget 2019, the National Minimum Wage will still be 0.70c lower than the €10.50 per hour committed to the 2016 Programme for Government. If this commitment is to be fulfilled before the Government is required to go to the polls in 2021, this would translate into an average annual increase of 0.35c over the next two years.”

Mr Berney said: “The economy is roaring. We have the lowest annual inflation rate in the Euro area. Government should not shirk from this opportunity to make a positive impact on the living standards of our lowest paid workers. Decent wages are of fundamental importance to building a fair and inclusive society.” 

He said: “Congress calls on Government to align the National Minimum Wage as soon as possible with the Living Wage”.

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