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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Danny De Vaal

Those working minimum wage jobs not able to 'even maintain a basic standard of living'

Hard-pressed punters working in minimum wage jobs are now not able to “even maintain a basic standard of living”, shock new findings have found.

At present, they're paid €10.50 per hour but this is set to rise to €11.30 for those aged over 20 years old from January 1, 2023.

But trade union SIPTU says the Living Wage, the amount required for workers to meet their basic needs, is an hourly rate of €13.85.

Read More: The tax changes you'll notice in your payslip thanks to Budget 2023

The Living Wage Technical Group blasted the Government and said workers on low pay are not protected from inflation.

SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Teresa Hannick, said: “The release of the 2023 Living Wage will make for grim reading for hundreds of thousands of workers caught in the low-pay trap.

“The Living Wage Technical Group estimates the Living Wage to be €13.85 per hour. This represents a 95 cent increase.

“Unfortunately, the recently announced minimum wage increase was only 80 cent.

"Not only is the minimum wage failing to keep up with inflation, it is falling further behind the Living Wage.”

She added: “The work of the Living Wage Technical Group continues to be an essential guide to the minimum essential living standard.
“A Maynooth University study, commissioned by the Low Pay Commission, stated that the method employed by the Living Wage Technical Group comes closest to capturing the spirit of the Living Wage.

“The Government should introduce a supplemental increase in the minimum wage next year. The two trade union representatives on the Low Pay Commission recommended in their minority report that the minimum wage should be increased by €1.50 per hour.

“This would ensure that the lowest-paid workers in the economy are protected from inflation.

“It would also mean that the Government’s own goal of reaching the Living Wage by 2025 can be achieved.”

In September, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar revealed the Low Pay Commission set an indicative living wage for 2023 of €13.10 per hour.

It is understood that the living wage will be phased in between now and 2026 at which point it will become mandatory.

Rent increases were the main reasons cited for the increase in the Living Wage.

Living Wage Technical Group member Robert Thornton said: “Having an income below this standard of living means doing without goods and services which are essential for taking part in the norms of everyday life in Ireland.

“The Republic of Ireland Living Wage was established in 2014 and is part of a growing international set of similar figures which reflect a belief across societies that individuals working full‐time should be able to earn enough to enjoy a decent standard of living and meet minimum essential living costs.”

Lidl Ireland was the first large employer yesterday to commit to adopting the €13.85 living wage.

The low-cost supermarket said the move will require a cash injection of €7.5 million and will benefit more than 4,200 staff - and is worth an extra €1,500 a year to full-time workers.

Chief People Officer at Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland Maeve McCleane said: “Now more than ever before, it is vitally important that we deliver on our responsibility to support our employees to overcome the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis as best we can.
"Our latest commitment to adopt the recommended Living Wage for 2023, for the seventh year in a row, will mean a second pay rise announced for more than 84 per cent of our employees in less than 12 months."


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