The Green Party has today published its submission to the Low Pay Commission which includes a direct recommendation for the minimum wage to be increased to €9.20 and for the minimum wage to be linked to the Consumer Price Index.
Green Party Finance Spokesperson, Cllr Mark Dearey said today: “This submission sets out our clear belief that the minimum wage must rise to reflect the changes to the cost of living since the imposition of the current rate in 2007. This small increase will mean a huge amount to those at the lower end of the wage scale.
“Overall, we regret the limited scope of the Low Pay Commission and believe that a rise in the minimum wage goes only a small way towards addressing the wider issues around temporary work, the culture ofundocumented, cash-in-hand payments in certain employment sectors, unpaid internships and workfare programmes. It is deeply disappointing that the Government have decided to exclude those issues from the consideration of the Commission.
“The Green Party proposes that, in order to reflect the changes in the cost of living, the minimum wage should be tied to Consumer Price Index inflation, with a base floor set at €8.65 per hour, meaning that even if the CPI dropped dramatically, the minimum wage would not drop below €8.65 per hour. This allows a flexible approach that prevents a situation where the minimum wage remains static while the costs of living rise.
“We advocate the immediate increasing of the minimum wage to €9.20 to reflect the changes in cost of living since 2007, and would urge the implementation of the yearly recalculation outlined above.
“The additional 55 cent an hour would give someone working 40 hour weeks on minimum wage an additional €22 per week, which can make a meaningful difference to someone’s ability to afford a better standard of living while not putting an excessive burden on employers. Previous increases in the minimum wage have not had a significant impact on employment numbers in this country, and that was with a higher one-off rise than the one we propose.”