Galway West TD Derek Nolan has said that the recommended increase to the minimum wage is about making work pay. Speaking about the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation of increasing the minimum wage by 50c to €9.15 per hour, Deputy Nolan said:
“I absolutely agree with the recommendation of increasing the minimum wage by 50c. It will be an important and welcome measure for many low paid workers across Galway. Work should always be worth doing. It should always pay.
“Taxpayers in this country are at the very heart of our economy, and allow us to provide vital public services like healthcare, education and housing. As citizens, all we can give is our work. Our contributions, at whatever level, to this State should always be met with respect.
“Increasing the minimum wage isn’t just about giving people a few extra euros in their pocket; it is about the value we place on all workers, and the importance of them in our society.
“Fianna Fáil slashing the minimum wage in 2011 was a shameful last act of a disgraced party. Our priority upon getting into the Government was to reverse that cut, and we did. Today, we are going a step further. We are set to increase the minimum wage for the second time in our term of office.
“This will mean an annual increase of over €1,000 for full-time workers on this wage level. In the Labour Party, we have always maintained that there must be a level of decency, below which no one should fall below. The minimum wage is a measure of that level of decency.
“I am delighted that the recommendation is that we should see that level rise. It is modest rise, but it is one that we are committed to reviewing year after year. The Low Pay Commission which Labour established will assess it annually, ensuring that no worker gets left behind.
“We have seen a steady improvement in our country’s fortunes over the past couple of years. However, these improvements must affect the many, not the few. After a challenging few years, the recovery must benefit those on low and middle incomes who deserve something back.”