Speaking following the cutting of the minimum wage Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer said the issue of the cut in minimum wage must be reversed.
“The lowest paid people in society are facing severe hardship because of the €1 cut in the hourly rate of the minimum wage, and the imposition of an unfair Universal Social Charge. We must protect the vulnerable members of society.”
“I have been talking to businesses in Cork City and they advise me that their business is not struggling because of the national minimum wage, but because consumer confidence is low and people are not spending. In addition to this credit for small businesses is being frozen by the banks, issues around employers PRSI – which Fine Gael have made proposals about, and VAT on labour intenstive activities. None of the above issues facing our small businesses is that of the minimum wage. Why then was it cut?
“How can the Government expect someone to live on low incomes? This Government has consistently told us they are acting in the national interest, how is it the national interest to cut cut cut? Before the budget the Taoiseach’s own salary was 13 times that of a person on the minimum wage, it is now 14 times the amount.
“Fine Gael’s policy of reducing PRSI acts as a similar yet fairer initiative to reduce the cost of doing business. This Government, by cutting the minimum wage, has done nothing more than de-incentivise people from working. It will now be more amenable to go on social welfare then to get a minimum wage job, jobs which are often some of the toughest jobs with the longest hours.
“This Government and those in FF new or old are in a bubble, they have lost sight of what it is like to struggle to make ends meet, what it is like to not be able to put dinner on the table”