Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Jobs, Workers’ Rights and Pay Equality, Maurice Quinlivan TD, has said Sinn Féin will table a Dáil motion on Tuesday evening, condemning the government’s decision not to increase the minimum wage.
The motion will also call for the introduction of a Living Wage for workers.
Speaking today the Limerick City TD said;
“The government’s decision not to increase the national minimum wage in budget 2020 was a slap in the face to the 137,000 workers who currently earn the minimum wage.
“There will be no postponement of rising rents, no stop to huge insurance costs or no delay to the carbon tax, but it seems Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil simply don’t care if people can afford this or not.
“To scrap the minimum wage increase is a nasty move, and to blame it on Brexit won’t fool anybody.
“There are legal protections currently in place for those companies who can show they cannot afford to pay the national minimum wage. Brexit is not the issue here, Fine Gael’s disregard for lower paid workers is.
“The very wealthiest workers were of course rewarded in this budget, with the extension of the Special Assignee Relief Programme, helping rich executives pay less tax. The contrast couldn’t be more stark.
“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin showed how a Living Wage could be introduced, whilst also protecting financially vulnerable businesses.
“Our motion calls on the Dáil to recognise the huge contribution lower paid workers make to our economy and calls on the government to introduce a Living Wage of €12.30 per hour.
“An exemption for businesses who can prove to the Labour Court they genuinely cannot afford to pay a Living Wage, would protect financially vulnerable businesses and the jobs they provide.
“Last week Fianna Fáil hosted a briefing in Leinster House calling for a Living Wage for early years educators. This week they voted through a Fine Gael budget that doesn’t even include an increase to the minimum wage.
“Our motion will give Fianna Fáil an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.
“Workers and families deserve a break and introducing a level of pay that ensures workers are not living at risk of poverty, is not too much to ask.”