Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has said that the reported recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to propose a 10 cent increase in the Minimum Wage is ‘a slap in the face’ for workers.
Teachta Kerrane said: “Over the last six months, we have praised workers on the front-line, the shop assistants, the factory workers, delivery drivers and those working in food services.
“Many of these workers were deemed essential when Covid first hit and they continued to work under extremely difficult and stressful circumstances to keep the country running. They worked to ensure that the supermarket shelves were full, they took up making PPE, they ensured that food supplies were continually available and they delivered essential supplies the length and breadth of the State.
“This morning, we have learned that a dispute at the Low Pay Commission over proposing a paltry increase of 10 cent for minimum wage workers has caused the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to remove themselves from the Commission.
“I commend ICTU for the stance they have taken on behalf of workers in this State, many of whom were already struggling on low wages long before Covid hit and are even worse off now.
“There are questions to be answered as to why the Low Pay Commission were not willing to consider going beyond a 1% increase in the minimum wage for 2021 given the increasing costs workers and families are facing. The cost of housing and living costs such as food, energy and electricity continue to soar. This 1% increase does not match the rate of inflation, meaning that in real terms the wage is not being increased at all and workers will continue to struggle to pay for basic necessities.
“The suggestion of a 1% increase is an insult to workers. The commitment in the Programme for Government to progress to a Living Wage over the lifetime of the Government needs to come much sooner.”