ICTU calls for "substantial increase" in minimum wage

The hourly rate of the Minimum Wage currently sits at €9.25 per hour,

ICTU calls for "substantial increase" in minimum wage

File photo | Image: Niall Carson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has called for "a substantial increase" in the hourly rate of the national Minimum Wage so it's aligned more closely with the Living Wage.

The hourly rate of the Minimum Wage currently sits at €9.25 per hour, while the Living Wage rate is €11.50 per hour.

In a submission to the Low Pay Commission, the ICTU said there was widespread support for "aligning the hourly rate of the Minimum Wage with that of the Living Wage" and called on the Commission to "reflect this consensus."

The Commission is tasked with recommending increases in the Minimum Wage to the government.

The ICTU submission pointed out that "It is essential that the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission, while having regard to the requirement to maintain wage competitiveness, also takes account of the requirement to increase the living standards of the lowest paid workers in our society.

"Failure to do so will damage the standing and the credibility of the Low Pay Commission."

Increased employment 

According to ICTU official Liam Berney, there is "strong evidence of upward growth in earnings and profits, while employment in the economy is also increasing.

"The Congress submission points out that the Minimum Wage applies to just 3.5% of the workforce - therefore the impact of any increase in employment costs will be minimal.

Mr Berney finished by saying "It is a matter of deep concern to Congress that more than 73% of those on the Minimum Wage are female workers. So any increase in the rate will make a positive impact on reducing the gender pay gap."