Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, today welcomed the new Living Wage rate of €12.30 per hour for 2019 and said that the government needs to lead by example and introduce this living wage to many of its own low paid employees.

The Sinn Féin TD said a Living Wage is needed to ensure workers across the island of Ireland have an income that is necessary to provide them and their families with the basic necessities of life.

Speaking today, Deputy Seán Crowe said;

“Sinn Féin fully support the concept of the Living Wage, and we recently launched our own party’s proposals on how we intend to introduce the Living Wage when we are in government.

“The current Minimum Wage is simply too low, and it does not take into account the reality of the high cost of living in Ireland.

“We welcome the Living Wage Technical Group’s assessment that the Living Wage should now stand at €12.30 an hour, as this increase on the previous rate reflects the high cost of living people on low wages are now facing.

“This government have left low paid workers behind and will not even achieve their own self-imposed target of €10.50 per hour, as set out in their Programme for a Partnership Government.

“I believe the government needs to lead by example in this and introduce the living wage to many of its own low paid employees.

“We believe workers deserve to be paid fairly for their hard work, and we think it’s shameful that many workers and their families are living in poverty due to low pay.

“However, we fully understand that not every business will be able to pay the Living Wage of €12.30 per hour, and we have taken account for that in our plans.

“In our proposals launched last week, we included a provision that the New Living Wage Act would include an exemption for those financially vulnerable businesses who can show they genuinely cannot afford this transition to the Living Wage.

“This exemption will safeguard businesses and jobs in those SMEs who find themselves in a difficult financial position.

“Sinn Féin is the only Irish political party with a credible proposal on how to introduce the Living Wage, and we want Ireland to become the first state 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.”