Ireland’s minimum wage now €2.70 lower than recommended living wage

Ireland’s Minimum Wage Now €2.70 Lower Than Recommended Living Wage
Lidl Ireland this morning announced it will pay all its staff the new rate of the living wage for 2022. Photo: PA Images.
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The minimum wage in Ireland is now €2.70 lower than the recommended living wage.

The national minimum wage is currently €10.20, but new calculations suggest a full-time worker should be earning €12.90 an hour to maintain a “basic but reasonable” standard of living.


The Living Wage Technical Group has recommended an increase of 60 cent per hour, up from an hourly rate of €12.30, to reflect a higher cost of living.

Assistant Professor of Social Policy at UCD, Micheál Collins, said the current minimum wage leaves many struggling financially.

“We base the living wage on a basket of goods that are determined to provide a single individual working full-time with a basic but reasonable standard of living — so that includes a nutritious diet, that includes basic levels of clothing and personal care and health costs,” he said.

Pay increase

The Living Wage Technical Group — made up of economists and representatives from unions and social justice charities — said the main driver of the increased living wage is the soaring cost of rent.


“When they come home with their wages for the week, [many] are not in a position to be able to afford what we’re looking at here — a basic but reasonable standard of living — and therefore, are cutting back on some of the basics in life in terms of making ends meet,” Prof Collins said.

“The living wage is a useful benchmark for us to begin to think about what’s adequate.”

On Wednesday morning, Lidl Ireland announced it will pay all its staff the new rate of the living wage for 2022, meaning a pay increase for 1,500 of its 5,000 staff across the country.

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“The change will benefit 30 per cent of employees across Ireland, as all other employees currently earn in excess of the new living wage,” the retailer said, with the pay rise representing an investment of more than €2.5 million.


Last week, the Government said an increase to the minimum wage will be considered ahead of next month's Budget announcement.

Meanwhile, new research from Safe Food Ireland has found seven per cent of the Irish population experiences food poverty.

Low-income families must spend a third of their weekly take-home pay on food if they want to eat healthily, the group said.

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