Republican News · Thursday 27 January 2000

[An Phoblacht]

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.''

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