SFA to voice opposition to 'living wage' concept
On 30 September, the SFA will participate in the Living Wage Forum in Dublin Castle. The SFA Council has decided to adopt a position of opposition to the Living Wage, which we will be voicing at the Forum. In attendance will be industry leaders from a wide range of sectors, senior trade union representatives, academics and representatives from civil society.
This initiative is being promoted by Minister Nash and the trade union movement and community and voluntary pillar. They state that the “Living Wage” is an independently assessed and agreed measure of the income necessary to meet basic needs – housing, food, utilities, clothing, transport, health care, childcare and minimal recreation. They have proposed a living wage rate of €11.50 per hour. There has been no business or government input into the formulation of this rate.
The SFA rejects the living wage concept as neither viable nor appropriate. It would substantially increase employers' wage bills, without any productivity gains. It would unfairly shift the cost of public policy shortcomings onto employers, as they would be expected to compensate for the high cost of housing, childcare, transport and education, rather than tacking these problems head on and finding sustainable solutions.
It is important to note that the Living Wage is different to the minimum wage, which is the statutory pay floor beneath which no worker should fall. It is not something that the Government is planning to legislate for.
Members wishing to share their views on the living wage should contact Patricia Callan on 01-6051602/ firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Barry on 01-6051626/ email@example.com.