National Minimum Wage continues to chase the Living Wage as the economy roars - Congress

20 Dec 2019

Minimum wage MCollins

The Government has announced that the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation to increase the hourly rate of the minimum wage to €10.10 will come into effect on February 01.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions General Secretary, Patricia King said: “The news that Cabinet has belatedly agreed when to introduce the 30c increase to the minimum wage will end months of uncertainty for the country’s lowest-paid workers.

“130,000 or so workers had been left in limbo over how much their wages will rise next year after the reprehensible decision in Budget 2020 to defer the increase.”

The Low Pay Commission recommended the national minimum wage in 2020 be increased by 30c, from €9.80 to €10.10.  Workers on a 39-hours contract will see their gross wage increase by €11.70 a week.

Earlier this year, the Living Wage Technical Group calculated the hourly pay required by a full-time worker without children to afford a socially acceptable standard of living in 2019 at €12.30, an increase of 40c per hour on 2018.

Acknowledging the Commission’s recommendation, Irish Congress of Trade Unions Industrial Officer Liam Berney said: “The Commission is to be commended for their work.”

The national minimum wage is still 40c lower than the €10.50 per hour committed to in the 2016 Programme for Government.” Mr Berney said: “The economy is roaring. Rents are soaring. Inflation is below the average rate in the Euro area. Government should not shirk from this opportunity to make a positive impact on the living standards of our lowest-paid workers. Decent wages are of fundamental importance to building a fair and inclusive society.” 

He said: “Congress calls on Government to align the national minimum wage as soon as possible with the Living Wage”.