€11.50 proposal for Living Wage not viable

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Living Wage Forum

Statement by Patricia Callan, Director, Small Firms Association
  • €11.50 proposal for a Living Wage is not viable for small employers
  • Living Wage debate is a distraction from the real public policy issues that must be addressed
  • Sustainable solutions to housing, childcare, transport and education challenges will make a better standard of living a reality for all

Speaking in advance of the Living Wage Forum, which is being hosted by Minister for Business & Employment, Ged Nash, TD, in Dublin Castle today (Wednesday, 30 September 2015), Small Firms Association (SFA) Director, Patricia Callan, stated: “The small businesses of Ireland reject the concept of a ‘living wage’ in the form currently being put forward by the trade unions. Today’s Living Wage Forum is a distraction from the real public policy issues that have the potential to increase the standard of living for all. Expenditure on areas related to government policy (housing, childcare, health, education, transport and energy) amount to 69% of the total Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) cost in the Living Wage Group calculations. The SFA is calling on the Government in Budget 2016 to reduce incomes taxes and to give childcare tax credits, which will make a significant impact in improving real income levels.”

Callan continued: “Increasing labour costs in low margin, high headcount businesses, which still have low profitability, following the recession, will inevitably result in reduced hours, job losses or postponement of job creation. The “living wage” proposal will do nothing to alleviate poverty as 23% of all households in Ireland are headed by a jobless person, the highest level of jobless households in the EU. With our unemployment rate still at 9.4%, our priority must remain the maintenance and creation of new jobs, particularly in the regions, which have huge variability in their cost of living, which this “living wage” proposal does not provide for.”

Ends.

For further queries and interviews, please contact Patricia Callan, SFA Director, on email: patricia.callan@sfa.ie or tel: 087 6999345.

Issued by Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, e-mail: linda.barry@sfa.ie, tel: 087 1472811, Twitter: @SFA_Irl
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