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'Fat Cat Wednesday' shows major pay disparities

9 January 2019

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Speaking on ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’, Labour Party Business spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan has said more must be done to tackle pay inequality in all sectors.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Nine days into the New Year, average CEO pay in Ireland has already overtaken that of a worker on an average full-time wage.

The fact that top bosses will have earned the annual salary of an average worker in just the first nine days of January shows the major disparities in our corporate culture.

“The Government need to tackle rampant pay inequality by considering how they will implement the living wage, if Fine Gael were serious about improving the life of working people, they would direct the Low Pay Commission to examine how a Living Wage could be introduced in Ireland on a statutory footing.

"Irish workers earning the average industrial wage deserve a pay rise. The cost of living has been spiralling out of control for a number of years now. Living costs such as rent, fuel, health, and car insurance, back to school costs and public transport, have all gone up in recent years yet the most basic wage offered to workers has failed to keep pace.

"We know that there are more people living at risk of poverty now than in 2016, and there are certainly more people working while living in, or accessing, homeless services.

“The minimum wage in Ireland right now does not reflect the basic living cost of Ireland and the fact that CEOs of many Irish companies have now earned more than their lowest-paid employees make in a year is an issue crying out to be tackled.”