Cost of living: Unions advise people to seek pay increases up to 5.5%

Cost of living: Unions advise people to seek pay increases up to 5.5%

There will be no further measures to tackle the cost of living until the Budget, the Taoiseach has confirmed.

Speaking in Brest, France, Micheál Martin said that yesterday’s €500 million outlay was “mostly one-off” and would not be repeated in the summer if the rising rate of inflation does not level off.

The Government yesterday announced a €505 million package aimed at cutting the cost of living for hard-pressed people across the country.

This includes the doubling of the energy credit to €200, a temporary 20% reduction in public transport fares to apply from April until the end of the year and a lump-sum payment of €125 on the fuel allowance to be paid in early March to 390,000 recipients.

Micheál Martin was speaking today from France where he is attending One Ocean Summit. Picture: Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP

Mr Martin said that yesterday’s intervention would be the last until October.

“There was a billion in Budget and a half a billion last evening and the majority of yesterday would have been once off and no we will not be seeing another iteration of that. The next intervention will be the budget itself in the autumn, so that’s that.

“Yesterday was not a mini-budget – primarily the two key measures were once off measures. You know, we wanted to do something that could help people in the short-term and alleviate some of the pressure that people are undoubtedly under.”

Mr Martin confirmed that he would give his energy credit to charity and said that there was a “balance” achieved in yesterday’s announcement.

“There had to be a balance achieved between once-off measures. We’re conscious of the budgetary framework, which hasn’t gone away, we’ve got to be very clear about that.

We’ve been through two years of extraordinary government intervention in the economy, we’ve underpinned jobs, we’ve underpinned employment and companies.

“We’ve maintained the link between employees and companies throughout the pandemic, with the result that we’re close to two and a half million people at work now, we’re almost a year and a half ahead of our target in the economic recovery plan in relation to employment. So there’s been a huge intervention.”

He said that the payments were balanced to ensure they could be done quickly and not require legislation.

The Taoiseach accepted that the package will not solve the crisis in itself, but said it alleviate pressure on families.

“The packages the sort of yesterday’s will never fully obviously meet he current inflationary cycle in terms of the scale of it but it will help and it will help to alleviate the pressures that are on many families particularly hard pressed families.”

Unions advise people to seek pay increases up to 5.5%

Private sector unions are advising their members to seek pay increases in light of the rising cost of living.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) has told members in December they should seek wage increases of 2.5% to 4.5%.

However, given the rising rate of inflation and the growing uncertainty surrounding high prices, the Private Sector Committee has revised this advice.

The committee are now recommending members ask for increases in the range of 2.5% and 5.5%.

Every pay negotiation would have to be cognisant of the employer’s ability to pay, some will be less than the 5.5%, while many other companies were very profitable and could afford to pay wage increases.

Patricia King, General Secretary, ICTU said the Government must play their part in protecting the living standards of both employers and workers. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

General Secretary Patricia King said Ictu would be keeping the matter under continuous review over the coming months.

She said that there would be no upper level for sectoral wage increases but

Read More

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.