Thursday, 13 December 2018
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
The Tánaiste obviously does not agree that workers need a pay rise. It is good for the economy. We have looked in very great detail across several countries. There is always resistance to increases in the minimum wage from employers in other sectors, but in every case it is good for the economy because it puts more money into circulation. We have a very unbalanced wage structure in Ireland. We have good equalisation through social welfare and taxation but the base pay is grossly unequal by any European comparison. I ask the Tánaiste again, acknowledging that we really need to raise the level of pay to the most vulnerable and lowest paid workers, if he will undertake to start in the public service. We have established that, right now, a living wage is €11.90 an hour. Will he undertake to seek to achieve that for public sector workers so that at least in the area of work which the Government controls directly, we can be confident that people are earning a living wage?