2016 Living Wage: no change, yet lots of change
Posted on July 11, 2016 by Micheál Collins
The 2016 Living Wage for the Republic of Ireland has been calculated by the Living Wage Technical Group. It is €11.50 per hour. The rate is unchanged from 2015.
Over the past year there have been decreases in living costs for most items included in the living wage calculation. However, these decreases have been wiped out by increases in housing costs. The overall effect is an unchanged hourly Living Wage rate of €11.50.
The Republic of Ireland Living Wage was established in 2014 and is part of a growing international set of similar figures which reflect a belief across societies that individuals working full-time should be able to earn enough income to enjoy a decent standard of living.
During the last year there were decreases in the costs associated with many of the items included in the Living Wage calculation. In particular changes in energy and transport costs decreased the cost of the weekly minimum expenditure. A reduction in the Universal Social Charge (USC) paid by an employee on the Living Wage also impacted on the calculations as the amount of USC collected from these employees decreased.
However, the effects of these decreases in living costs and increases in post-tax income were outweighed by increases in some areas of expenditure. Most notable were increases in housing (rent) costs with higher rental costs in Dublin being the significant driver of the overall increased expenditure costs. Outside Dublin, housing costs moved by between €2.24 and €8.93 per week, but the increase in Dublin was €19.62 per week. As housing costs are the largest component of weekly expenditure in the living wage calculation, such substantial increases wipe out the effects of decreases in all of the other living costs.
Full details including the new 2016 document are available on the living wage website www.livingwage.ie
The 2016 summary document is available here
The NERI is one of a number of organisations with staff members participating in the Living Wage Technical Group.