Minimum Wage-earners should be outside tax net
Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin described the publication of the Minimum Wage Bill on Wednesday, 26 January, as welcome but long overdue. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
``It has taken over two and a half years for the government to publish this Bill. While it is welcome, it is long overdue. The detail will need careful scrutiny but one thing is certain - the proposed minimum wage level of £4.40 per hour is totally inadequate and must be raised to £5 per hour and be index-linked. Many employers have already had to increase pay to this level.
``In the Budget, the government disgracefully kept people on the proposed minimum wage of £4.40 per hour in the tax net. The Minimum Wage Bill will not be effective in addressing inequality and eliminating long-term unemployment unless these low-paid workers are exempt from tax. This must be made a government priority in the months ahead.''