Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the latest data from the European Commission, which shows that low wage earners saw their income hit hardest by Covid-19, has shone a light on Ireland’s unequal economy.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The pandemic has ripped through our society and economy, but new data from the Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistical division, has highlighted the income disparity that exists in Ireland, and how ordinary workers have suffered the most from Covid-19.
“The EU data has outlined how low wage workers have suffered staggering income drops due to the pandemic, with an average drop of 10% this year. These ordinary workers have suffered an income reduction twice as large as high income earners.
“We have seen throughout the past number of months how the highest incidence rates of Covid19 arose in working class communities – where workers generally work on the frontline and in essential services, and where people often live in overcrowded accommodation in apartments, flats, or in close proximity in housing estates.
“However, the economic data which has been provided by the EU throughout the pandemic has also shown that it is also these communities, and workers, who have borne the brunt of the economic consequences of Covid-19.
“Working class communities have suffered the most through this crisis – these communities have suffered higher rates of Covid-19 infection, and they have suffered greater job losses and have seen their incomes drop more than high income earners.
“The data from the European Commission has highlighted the true nature of the fragile, low wage, and low growth economy caused by the policies of successive governments.
“The Government is a critical player in the economy, in economic development, and in economic direction; and as we move through this crisis the government must play their part in building a more robust, progressive economy – a high wage and high growth economy that works delivers for workers and society.”