[Sinn Fein]

20 June 2001

Minimum wage increase miserly

Sinn Fein Dublin South Central representative, Aengus O'Snodaigh has slammed the 30p increase to the minimum wage as ``miserly''.  Commenting on the announcement that the minimum wage is to increase from 4.40 to 4.70 Mr O'Snodaigh said:

``The introduction of a minimum wage was meant to stop the exploitation of workers and to give them a chance of a decent standard of living.  In the current economic climate the increase from 4.40 to 4.70 can in no way achieve this objective.  All across this island this minimum wage will still leave many workers struggling to make ends meet and indeed will leave many people living in poverty.

``This is a miserly increase which is nullified by growing inflation.  The only effect it will have is to leave those workers most vulnerable and least able to defend their rights at the mercy of unscrupulous employers.

``There needs to be a minimum wage which properly reflects today's economic climate and that will give people a proper share of the enormous wealth that is being created in this country.''  ENDS

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