Written answers

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Living Wage

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Socialist Party)
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73. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on recent media comments by the Minister for State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Gerald Nash TD, regarding the cost to the Exchequer if the State becomes a living wage employer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2086/16]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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The most recent aggregate data (based on pay bands) available to the Department indicates that some 93% of all public service staff are on salary points in excess of €25,000 per annum. The suggested wage at €11.50 per hour based on the Civil Service 37 hour standard net working week equates to an annual salary of € 22,203.

Data based on Civil Service staff only indicates that only some 4% of staff (FTE) in the Civil Service are on salary points less than €22,203, with the majority of those on points in the range €20,000 to €22,000.  The estimated cost within the civil service, which is some 12% of the overall public service, would be €1.6m. Detailed costings in other sectors of the public service would require collation and estimation on an individual sector level, based on detailed data on the position of staff on each salary scale across the public service and details of the standard working hours per week for each individual grade.  This detailed data is only available to individual public service employers.

Any of those currently on an annual salary of less than €22,203 in the public service may be receiving remuneration in excess of the suggested living wage through additional premium payments in respect of shift or atypical working hours or may benefit from salary scales that progress to the suggested living wage through incremental progression. The increase of 2.5% on annualised salaries up to €24,000 under the Lansdowne Agreement payable from 1 January 2016 may also impact upon the potential additional cost accruing to the Exchequer from the introduction of a Living Wage. 

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