26 January 2000
Minimum wage: Earners should be outside tax net, and get £5 an hour index linked
Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has described the publication of the Minimum Wage Bill as welcome but long overdue.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
``It has taken over two and a half years for the government to publish this Bill. While it is welcome it is long overdue. The detail will need careful scrutiny but one thing is certain - the proposed minimum wage level of £4.40 per hour is totally inadequate and must be raised to £5 per hour and index linked. Many employers have already had to increase pay to this level.
``In the Budget the Government disgracefully kept people on the proposed minimum wage of £4.40 per hour in the tax net. The Minimum Wage Bill will not be effective in addressing inequality and eliminating long-term unemployment unless these low-paid workers are exempt from tax. This must be made a Government priority in the months ahead.''
Note: Deputy Ó Caoláin is available for interview through the numbers above.
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