It has just been announced today that the Irish government is raising the minimum wage later this year. That’s right lads. We’re getting a raise! A whole 30 cent! Who are we to complain? Sure it’s better than the 10 cent raise we all received last year, right? Currently, the minimum wage in Ireland is €9.25 an hour. This extra 30 cent means you’ll now be selling your labour for a total of €9.55 an hour, how fulfilling!
What this whopper raise means for you
I am personally ever so grateful for the 30 cent raise. I would like to thank James Connolly and Karl Marx who are probably turning in their graves right now.
As a full time student with a part time job, that’s a whole extra €3 a week for me. That is less than 1/16th of my weekly bus fare. Although, my regular bus operator is facing insolvency so maybe that extra €3 can be put towards the €3,000 car insurance that young drivers must pay.
I hope I am not being too bold, but is there any chance of raising the minimum wage of €9.25 an hour to the €11.70 an hour living wage? No? Sorry, please forgive me. You’re entirely right. That was completely out of line. I often forget that employers have to make a profit.
But can’t the State take it from the €3 billion ‘rainy day fund’? Sure you could do loads with that amount of money. You could make public transport free, solve the homeless crisis, provide free GP visits, establish a greater amount of secular schools, provide rural Ireland with amenities to save it from isolation, keep drug treatment centers open. Just a thought.
It could be worse
I know I should be happy with this increase. People tell me “it could be worse, you could have no job at all.” And although I would not like to be unemployed, it does not change the fact that I, as a 20 year old woman, would receive more money on social welfare, than I do from working. This minimum wage increase is nothing compared to the profit business owners make per year.
Workers are the ones who sell these goods and services, on behalf of their employers. We are the people who are exploited by their 0 hour contracts, we are the people stacking shelves, sweeping floors, lining the pockets of those higher up. We create the wealth, yet receive nothing in return.