Mayo Fianna Fáil deputy, Dara Calleary, who is the party’s spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation, says his party is strongly advocating for a 6.4 per cent increase to the national minimum wage.
The increase, which Fianna Fáil recommended in its submission to the Low Pay Commission, would bring the minimum hourly rate up 55 cent, from €8.65 to €9.20.
Mr Calleary was speaking on the issue of low pay at Fianna Fáil’s Ard Fheis in the RDS, Dublin, last weekend.
He said that spread over the course of a year, the increase would add €1,000 in pay for a person on the national minimum wage, while at the same time protecting jobs.
He said Fianna Fáil consulted widely with social partners and stakeholders before making its submission to the Low Pay Commission.
Deputy Calleary also met with the UK’s Low Pay Commission to discuss its operation and learn from its experience over the last 18 years.
“Its long term record is one of raising the minimum wage and increased wages for workers at the bottom without damaging jobs in the economy,” said Deputy Calleary. “This is the template that the Irish Low Pay Commission should follow.”
Deput Calleary said the submission also dealt with the concept of a living wage.
“In our submission, Fianna Fáil puts forward several recommendations for the Low Pay Commission including expanding the remit of the LPC to include a definition of a ‘living wage’ and a corresponding calculation of an hourly rate to achieve this as well as setting specific minimum wage levels for various youth and apprentice categories.
“On top of this, the Government must examine employer PRSI contributions for those on low pay.”