Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are failing low-paid workers - Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has moved a Dáil motion condemning the government’s decision not to increase the minimum wage and took aim at Fianna Fáil over their "hypocrisy" on the issue.
The motion also calls for the introduction of a Living Wage of €12.30 per hour for workers.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Cullinane said: “This is a simple motion that recognises the huge contribution workers on the minimum wage make to our society and economy.
“This group of workers are often overlooked when it comes to state support and are certainly underpaid for the hard work they do every day.
“Incredibly, last week Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil presented a budget that did absolutely nothing for these workers.
“To not even include an increase in the minimum wage was a slap in the face to the 137,000 workers earning the minimum wage - who work very hard day in day out.
“Our motion here tonight calls on the government to immediately reverse this decision – and to introduce a Living Wage of €12.30 per hour next year.
“We want to see a Living Wage – which is a rate of pay that would allow workers to pay for the basic necessities of life - to live with dignity - and to participate fully as active citizens in our society. That is not too much to ask."
Deputy Cullinane continued: “Two weeks ago, Fianna Fáil Deputy Eugene Murphy hosted a SIPTU briefing in the AV Room calling for a Living Wage for early years educators.
“Fianna Fáil didn’t even secure an increase in the minimum wage for these workers let alone a Living Wage.
“I’m glad Fianna Fáil had the opportunity tonight to put their money where their mouth was – and let low paid workers know that they don’t represent their interests.
“This isn’t the first time Fianna Fáil have failed to deliver for workers – they are, of course, the party that cut the minimum wage when workers in this State were on their knees.
“Now, even in a time of supposed economic growth, Fianna Fáil are failing workers again.
“Last year in their Poverty Focus Report, Social Justice Ireland found that more than 100,000 people with jobs live in poverty.
“There is something very wrong when being in employment condemns a person to live in poverty," he concluded.