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Living Wage

The Living Wage for 2019 has been set at €12.30 per hour, an increase of 40 cents in the 12 months. This is being driven mainly by the rising cost of accommodation in Ireland. It is time Government got a handle on the housing crisis, and set a timeframe to move the National Minimum Wage in the direction of Living Wage.

While we welcome the fall in the proportion of employees earning the minimum wage or lower, the fact is that despite very welcome increases in the NMW in the last few years, it remains about 18 per cent below the living wage. It is long past time that government set a five-year timeframe to close the gap between the National Minimum Wage and the living wage, and implement a system of Refundable Tax Credits in Budget 2020 to help mitigate the issue of in-work poverty.

As long as the National Minimum Wage (NMW) lags so far behind the Living Wage, hundreds of thousands of Irish workers will be forced to do without certain essentials so they can make ends meet. Social Justice Ireland would like to see government commit to a timeframe over which the NMW would move towards the rate of the Living Wage.

Social Justice Ireland's quarterly Employment Monitor, published July 2017, may be accessed here. This issue deals with the differences across the different economic sectors in the areas of Employee Numbers, Average Hourly Earnings, and Paid Hours.

Government should stop subsidising the Accommodation and Food Services sector and instead should incentivise the kind of jobs that allow workers to achieve a decent standard of living.

The Living Wage for 2018 has been set at €11.90 per hour; an inrease of 20c over the last year. With the cost of living in most other areas falling, this increase is being driven solely by rising accommodation costs, with rent now accounting for half of minimum living costs in Dublin.