Hundreds of thousands of  low-paid Dubs need  higher living wage

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Labour Councillor Declan Meenagh has called on the government to support Labour’s Living Wage Bill 2022, claiming that it would deliver a much-needed pay rise for workers in Dublin, in addition to the long delayed commitment in the Programme for Government.

Commenting on the bill, which was introduced in the Dáil last week, Councillor Meenagh said: “With the cost of living soaring and inflation at a 22-year high, Ireland needs a pay rise. The purpose of Labour’s bill is to amend the National Minimum Wage Acts to provide for a pathway to a living wage over three years and we are calling for immediate government action to deliver on this Labour Party bill.

The Labour councillor stated that the current minimum wage, set at €10.50 after the most recent 30 cent increase in January, is not based on the cost of living.

“The living wage for 2021 was determined at a rate of €12.90 per hour. That is a €2.40 per hour wage gap that would make a real difference to the lives of so many people in Dublin.

“As recently as 2018 one in five workers were categorised as low-paid, earning just below €11.90 per hour, or about 380,000 people. Transforming the minimum wage into a living wage will also lift the wages of many other workers”, he said.

He concluded by highlighting the “unprecedented spike” in the cost of living that Dubliners are experiencing in costs of fuel, rent, housing, food, childcare and basic services are rising.

“Even the price of basic items like bread and milk are rising. All of us are hearing daily from constituents in Dublin who are feeling a real squeeze and whose incomes are no longer enough to meet the rising cost of living that they face.”

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