Cork TD : 80c minimum wage increase 'wouldn't feed the pigeons'

"In real terms a very serious pay cut for the country’s lowest paid workers." 
Cork TD : 80c minimum wage increase 'wouldn't feed the pigeons'

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy Mick Barry told Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the increase equated to a pay cut when taking into account inflation.

An increase of 80c to the minimum wage approved by government this week “wouldn’t feed the pigeons”, according to one Cork TD.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar announced on Wednesday that the Government approved an increase of 80c to the minimum wage, bringing it to €11.30 per hour from next year.

Socialist Party TD for Cork-North Central Mick Barry has criticised the government for not increasing the minimum wage further, saying that “a worker in this country on €11.30 an hour cannot live a decent life”, and that the increase “wouldn’t feed the pigeons”.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy Mick Barry told Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the increase equated to a pay cut when taking into account inflation.

“Taoiseach you increased the minimum wage this year by less than 3%. In real terms a very serious pay cut for the country’s lowest paid workers. 

Now you intend to increase it for next year by less than 8%. Another pay cut in real terms,” he said.

Defence 

Taoiseach Martin defended this year’s increase. He said he understood last year’s increase to be higher than inflation, and that this year’s increase is “just narrowly lower”.

“It’s not the government that decides this, it’s an independent commission that decides the minimum wage. 

"We want to move up as quickly as we can to a new living wage, and for the first time in the report the living wage has now been identified, so progress is being made,” he said.

“The practice has been to accept the recommendation of an independent commission… However, in the budget and the cost of living package we will be taking other measures to help people on the minimum wage to get through the current crisis,” he added.

Deputy Barry invited the Taoiseach to the cost of living demonstration on Grand Parade this Saturday, which he expects thousands to attend. Taoiseach Martin replied that he could not attend due to an official State event scheduled on Saturday.

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