April 6, 2023
Report into Irish economy reinforces need for a living wage – Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Senator Paul Gavan, said a report into the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, and the invasion of Ukraine reinforces the need for a living wage and collective bargaining rights.

Senator Gavan said:

“Today’s report from the National Economic and Social Economic Council (NESC) into the overall economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, and the invasion of Ukraine reinforces the need for a living wage and collective bargaining rights.

“For some time, Sinn Féin has been highlighting the economic and social impact of low pay.

“This impact not just directly affects workers and families, but it affects the public purse through top-ups and supports the state must pay to subsidise workers where employers pay them poorly.

“The report from NESC reinforces the harmful economic impact of low-pay and precarious work and states that income insecurity within the labour market is associated with growing levels of societal inequality.

“Not only does the report advise the government to carry out further research into the prevalence of low pay and precarious work, but it also calls for investigation into the impact of low pay on productivity.

“The one criticism I would make in relation to the report is the use of the term ‘bad jobs’ to refer broadly to precarious work and low paid employment. 

“While such terminology is borrowed from academic research, I am of the firm belief that there are only badly paid jobs with poor pay and conditions, not bad jobs.

“It is clear from the report that measures such as introducing a living wage and collective bargaining rights for workers’ trade unions can help in terms of addressing the negative economic impacts of low pay and precarious work.”

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