Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) responds to the first report of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) which recommends an increase of 50cent in the National Minimum Wage.
Gráinne O’Toole, Workplace Rights Coordinator with the MRCI, said “The national minimum wage has not been increased since 2007. For workers in low pay, a euro increase would have made a real difference to workers’ lives and their families. An opportunity was missed to do the right thing and begin to seriously tackle in-work poverty.”
Ms O’Toole went on to say, “Migrants are concentrated in low pay sectors where non-compliance and exploitation are unfortunately prevalent. The minimum wage is the basic floor which sets standards that need to be upheld across low-paid, precarious job sectors in Ireland.”
Enamur Chowdhury, spokesperson for the MRCI, said “I know so many workers who are struggling on the current minimum wage. A 50c increase doesn’t go far enough to address the 8-year gap since the last increase in the national minimum wage. The cost of living has risen since 2007 and at the same time we haven’t seen an increase in our wages.”
Mr Chowdhury went on to say, “Workers earning minimum wage spend most of their money in the local economy. Increased spending boosts the local economy, so it makes sense to put more money in peoples’ pockets.”
Ms O’Toole concluded, “An estimated 75,000 minimum wage workers are on minimum wage in Ireland. The Minister and the LPC should be concerned with moving towards the living wage of €11.50 over time. This won’t happen with the paltry increase we’re seeing in this report.”