Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has welcomed the launch of his party’s proposals to introduce the Living Wage in Ireland.

Sinn Féin are pledging to introduce a new Living Wage Act when in government, which will see workers earn enough which makes possible a minimum acceptable standard of living. The proposals also include an exemption for financially vulnerable businesses, which would protect businesses who cannot afford this transition at this stage.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“This is a very important policy as we recognise that many workers across the country earning the current minimum wage simply can’t make ends meet.

“While this Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government have rolled out the red carpet for vulture funds and big business, they have pulled up the drawbridge on ordinary workers who are really struggling.

“Social Justice Ireland estimates that there are 109,000 workers in Ireland, living in poverty. This is absolutely unacceptable.

“In government Sinn Féin will introduce the Living Wage, which currently stands at €11.90 per hour, which will see workers earn enough to make ends meet and bring an end to the practice of profitable businesses posting huge profits, while their employees are living hand to mouth.

“Sinn Féin’s Living Wage policy will specifically benefit over 130,000 workers who currently earn the minimum wage.

“We believe every worker should get paid at least enough for their labour to be able to achieve a minimum acceptable standard of living. This is not too much to ask.”

Crowe continued:

“Our proposal also includes an exemption for those financially vulnerable businesses who can show they genuinely cannot afford this transition to the Living Wage.

“We don’t believe this clause will be used widely, as most SMEs value their workers and already pay their employees the living wage and much more.

“However, this exemption safeguard businesses and jobs in those SMEs who find themselves in a difficult financial position.

“The Eurofound report from 2018 shows that implementing a living wage could play a significant role in offsetting the rise of in-work poverty across the European Union.

“Sinn Féin wants Ireland to become the first country in the world to introduce a Living Wage on a legislative basis.

“Proper wages and the eradication of precarious working practices must be the essential foundations of economic growth and productivity.”