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Posts in the "Living wage" category

Ireland’s Low Pay Problem: time for a Living Wage

Posted on August 25, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Ireland joined a growing international living wage movement in July when the Living Wage Technical Group launched the 2014 Living Wage. In principle, a living wage is intended to establish an hourly wage rate that should provide employees with sufficient income to achieve an agreed acceptable minimum standard of living. In that sense it is an income floor; representing a figure that allows employees working full-time to afford the essentials of life. The figure for 2014 is €11.45 per hour, equivalent to €446 per week.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityJobsLabour costsLiving wageWages

Examining Unemployment Traps in the Republic of Ireland

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Micheál Collins

As individuals transition from unemployment to employment they experience losses of welfare payments and entitlements, gains in earned gross income and they begin to pay income taxes and social insurance contributions on their earned income.

To assess this impact it is possible to calculate a ‘participation tax rate’. It attempts to measure the collective impact of these experiences by estimating by how much changes to taxes and benefits reduce the financial gain of moving into work. A participation tax rate of 50% implies that half of the gains in earnings from commencing work are lost through changes to taxes and benefits.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLiving wageTaxationWages

The Living Wage points to broader understanding of low pay

Posted on July 04, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Living wage ROI 2

Yesterday’s launch of the Republic of Ireland Living Wage adds to a growing international set of similar figures. The number, which will be updated annually from here on, was calculated by the Living Wage Technical Group. It is €11.45 for 2014.

 There are a number of contexts for this figure: 

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityLabour costsLiving wageWages

New data on Ireland’s ‘working poor’

Posted on May 13, 2014 by Micheál Collins

working poor chart 2012

The recently released CSO SILC report offers an updated insight into the composition of those living below the poverty line in Ireland. That line equalled €203.50 per week for an individual and €338 per week for a couple in 2012 (the year of the most recent data).

Overall 16.5% of the population live at risk of poverty and the report provides a decomposition of this group (see the pie chart). It finds that 12.6% of the poor are at work but not receiving sufficient income to reach the poverty line. That group represents about 6 in every 100 workers; about 100,000 workers.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityLiving wageWages

Investment, Jobs, Young Workers, Living Wage

Posted on April 12, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

Last week the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions held its Biennial Delegate conference in Derry. Over 230 delegates attended to debate a wide range of motions and issues.  The detailed programme and accompanying documentation is available here.  The economy report (pages 75-101) is taken directly from articles, blogs and QEO publications by NERI staff. It is very welcome to see the research work of the NERI, North and South, been taken up in many trade union fora. A reading of the economy report provides a detailed overview of some key areas of work where NERI has made a contribution over the last two years:

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Permanent link | Categories: InvestmentLiving wageNorthern Ireland

1 in 4 Northern Ireland workers do not earn enough for a decent standard of living

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn

The Nevin Economic Research Institutel published its latest Quarterly Economic Observer today Tuesday 25th March. In it, we examine the extent of low pay across Northern Ireland:

  • 25% of workers earn less than the 'Living Wage' (169,000).
  • 17% are officially classified as low paid (115,000) and 9% (61,000) earn only the National Minimum Wage or less.
  • Young people, women and those in part-time work are most at risk
  • Upper Bann, North Antrim, East L'Derry and Newry & Armagh are hotspots for low pay.
  • Low Pay is widespread in sectors such as Accommodation, Food, Retail, Residential and Social Care.

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityJobsLiving wageNorthern Ireland Wages

A Living Wage: the impacts for employees, employers and the state

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Publication cover - NERI WP Impacts Chall Liv Wage 2014b - Cover image for NERI WP Impacts Chall Liv Wage 2014b
Cover image for NERI WP Impacts Chall Liv Wage 2014b

A discussion on this issue of a living wage has recently commenced in Ireland. The implementation of a living wage raises issues regarding its impact on different actors in society (employees, employers, civil society and the state). Similarly, successful implementation faces a number of challenges.

A new NERI research paper, authored by Micheál Collins, considers some of these impacts and challenges, based on the experiences of living wage programmes elsewhere. In doing so, it points towards issues that need to be considered and addressed as any living wage initiative in Ireland commences.

The paper is available here and complements another NERI working paper on the living wage issued in early March 2014.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLabour costsLiving wageWages

A Living Wage for Ireland: Some Considerations and Initial Estimates

Posted on March 05, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Publication cover - NERI WP A Liv Wage for Irl 2014 no12 - Cover image for NERI WP A Liv Wage for Irl 2014 no12
Cover image for NERI WP A Liv Wage for Irl 2014 no12

Over the past decade the concept of a living wage has gained added attention across the developed world. In principle, a living wage is intended to establish an hourly wage rate that should provide employees with sufficient income to achieve an agreed acceptable minimum standard of living. In that sense it is an income floor; representing a figure that allows employees afford the essentials of life.

Read the full entry »

Permanent link | Categories: IncomeInequalityJobsLiving wageWages

‘a serious challenge that businesses and the Government must address’

Posted on January 09, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

In Northern Ireland – as in the rest of the United Kingdom – real wages have been falling since 2008. Using data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the UK-based GMB trade union has estimated that average earnings in Northern Ireland , when adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 12% between April 2008 and November 2013.  This is turning out to be the longest real wage squeeze in living memory. Among those at paid work, one in four workers in Northern Ireland are at risk of poverty because they are on low pay.  According to the Living Wage Research for KPMG published, last year, there were an estimated 197,000 employees below the calculated living wage level in Northern Ireland. This corresponds to 26% of all employees and is the highest of any UK region. 

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityLabour costsLiving wageNorthern Ireland

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