Words: Ellen Kenny
Great news for young workers in Ireland, if there are any young people left in Ireland by 2026.
The Government plans to phase in a living wage over the next four years as part of its plans to abolish the minimum wage.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar announced plans that would set the living wage as sixty per cent of the median wage in any given year while the minimum wage will rise each year until it catches up with the living wage.
The Government plan was devised following a report from the Low Pay Commission, which Varadkar sought last year.
According to the commissioned report, the current living wage in Ireland is €12.17, almost two euro more than the current minimum wage at €10.50.
Other groups such as the Living Wage Foundation put the living wage at €12.90. Varadkar argued that the Commission’s suggestion has a statutory basis in law, while groups such as the Foundation, who suggested that a higher rate is needed, are not.
Varadkar emphasised that “employers’ representatives, unions and independent experts” reached a unanimous decision about the €12.17 rate. Convenient for anyone not willing to pay workers a cent more than they have to.
According to Varadkar, a public consultation on the report will be underway soon, with final decisions made in September and changes starting from January 2023.
Legislation will be required to bring about the changes for the minimum wage to be abolished.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index, the cost of living rose by 7.8% in the year leading up to May 2022, the largest increase in almost 38 years. Projections show a further rise in the coming months. But those suggesting a higher living wage are unreasonable, right?
Elsewhere on District: “Great, Great Failure” – Michael D. Higgins on Ireland’s Housing Policy