The rise in minimum wage is not in line with Ireland’s growth, pointing to a “substantial shift in wealth from labour to capital,” said People Before Profit/Solidarity TD Mick Barry.
Minimum wages have risen unsteadily over the past two decades. During a debate at the Oireachtas in February, Deputy Mick Barry said:
“The average annual wages in Ireland increased by…0.38 per cent…while in the same period the Gross National Income increased by 61.2 per cent…all this points to a substantial shift in wealth from labour to capital in the last period.”
Hourly minimum wages for adults over 20 will increase to €11.30 from January 2023. Whereas the minimum living wage for Ireland is currently set at €12.90, which “enables individuals to afford a socially acceptable standard of living.”
Many argue that with the current state of affairs with the acute hike in rents and energy bills, this may not be sufficient.
“I’m working as a bartender, so I have decent pay,” one student said.
His wages cover rent, food bills and electricity with the possibility of savings.
Many are not this lucky and are anxiously looking forward to a hike in minimum wages.
“Most places pay €10.55 an hour. €11.30 an hour would be a decent hike,” says another student.
The so-called ‘cost of surviving’ amidst the cost of living crisis is also pushing back the motivation to make sustainable purchases.
The onus of “making the right choice” generally falls on the consumers, pushing them to choose between two expensive choices;
Either making unethical, but affordable purchases and causing irreversible damage to Earth, or making sustainable, albeit expensive choices that punch large holes in their pockets.
At any rate, wherever the allegedly siphoned labour capital is going, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a fresh graduate is sure to be in a fickle financial environment unless swift, concrete moves are made to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.