Updated: 11/09/17 : 07:37:24
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Gap between minimum and living wage causes concern

Social Justice Ireland has said it is seriously concerned about the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage.

In a report out today it says there are hundreds of thousands of people at work who are unable to achieve a decent standard of living.

Economic and Social Analyst Eamon Murphy has said the Government needs to set out a plan to close the gap and look at the quality of jobs that are being created.

"The CSO’s most recent data on minimum wage employment shows that about 10 per cent of employees are working for the minimum wage or less. This is about twice the level of previous estimates, and there are tens of thousands of others working for a rate above the minimum wage but below the Living Wage," he said.

"According to the CSO, 13.3% of people living in poverty and 24.8% of people living in deprivation are in employment. This corresponds to more than 100,000 in poverty and almost 300,000 workers experiencing deprivation, despite having a job. This highlights the failure of policies which concentrate too heavily on job creation as a means of social progress.

"Even with the anticipated increase in the minimum wage that is due to come in 2018, we are looking at approximately 20% gap between the National and living minimum wage.

"Which means people earning minimum wage are going without a lot of necessities in life and we feel the government needs to set out a pathway or frame work to close that gap."

The Living Wage is currently €11.70 per hour, up 20 cents in the last 12 months.

Speaking at the launch of Social Justice Ireland’s Quarterly Employment Monitor, Dr Seán Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland said: "Social Justice Ireland is seriously concerned about the gap between the minimum wage and the Living Wage. It means that there are hundreds of thousands of people at work who are unable to achieve a decent standard of living."