(SVP) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Low Pay Commission on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate. We recommend that the LPC pursue a path towards a Living Wage. It benchmarks the NMW rates against the actual cost of living in Ireland today. Calculated by the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) research. The €0.10 increase to the NMW announced in Budget 2021 leaves a considerable gap between the NMW rate and Living Wage that meets the cost of living. Currently, the Living Wage is €12.30, €2.10 higher than the NMW rate.
We welcome the commitment in the Programme for Government to move towards a Living Wage. The commitment to fair pay for workers must be kept as a strong foundation for economic recovery despite the drastically changed economic context 2020 has brought.
We recommend that the interaction between earnings and social welfare criteria is published. And examined to protect the incomes of those whose pay is increased.
Our submission begins with the impact of the pandemic on those in poverty and low paid work. And the importance of offering this cohort better pay in the future. The submission then outlines the challenge presented by low pay and in work poverty. Our members see the consequences of this in their work. And we outlined this in research we published this year on the cost of poverty. Finally, we summarise the benefits to individuals and the economy offered by increasing the NMW.
Covid 19 pandemic has caused huge changes in our economic landscape. We all experienced the widespread restrictions to curb the spread of the disease. The financial impact of the pandemic has not been evenly distributed. We know low paid workers, younger workers, part-time workers and renters have suffered disproportionately in terms of job loss and reduced income.