What does it say about this government when the Tories have a more generous approach to the living wage than it does?
The government has abandoned its commitment to introduce a living wage that people can actually live on, according to Social Democrats co-leader and Finance Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.
“When this government came to power, it promised to introduce a living wage over the lifetime of this government. Last year, the living wage was calculated at €12.90 – a figure that was arrived at before the current huge spike in inflation.
“Now, the government tells us that it plans to introduce a living wage of just €12.17 and reach that lesser target over the next four years – by 2026. This is less than today’s living wage and means the government has abandoned its commitment to introduce a living wage that people can actually live on – within the lifetime of this government.
“The government, instead of adopting the living wage calculation that has always prevailed in Ireland – the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) – has chosen to define a living wage as 60pc of the median wage.
“The Tory government, when it introduced a living wage in 2016, set it at 60pc of the median wage. That has now changed. The living wage in the UK will move to 66pc of the median wage by 2024 – two years before the lesser living wage comes into force here.
“What does it say about this government’s commitment to reduce in-work poverty, when the Tories have a more generous approach to the living wage than it does?
“The Social Democrats, in our alternative budget last year, set out a pathway for the introduction of a living wage, at the full MESL rate, by 2025. Unlike the government, we will not resile from that commitment.”
14 June, 2022