Cork North West TD Michael Creed outlined his opposition to the reduction of the minimum wage by €1. Speaking during a Dáil debate on the Financial Emergency Measures Bill Deputy Creed said;
“In deference to the time constraints, I will be brief. Fairness and national solidarity are critical to getting us out of our mire. However, these measures are being introduced in a pressure cooker atmosphere whereby Members are not allowed time to reflect on their implications. Yesterday Deputy Noonan pointed out that self-employed people who earn more than €200,000 will be substantial net beneficiaries of the universal social charge and other budgetary changes. I am sure that was not the Minister for Finance’s original intention but it was a mistake which will benefit high earners at the expense of those who earn the minimum wage. Somebody who earns €200,000 will probably gain €20,000, which is more than can be earned on the minimum wage in one year. That is fundamentally unfair at a time when the State is using the money it saves to pay bankers’ bonuses. These measures are generating an unprecedented level of social unrest”.
“Cuts in welfare generally affect the most vulnerable members of society. Yesterday I spoke at length about the unemployed people with children who are the new poor. Bringing people on minimum wage into the tax net exacerbates that trend. We need an enterprise society that values work but we are instead demeaning work and encouraging fraud. If we had more time for reflection we would construct a better Bill”.