Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Dara Calleary has welcomed the request made by the Government to the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to examine low pay female and youth workers who are on the national minimum wage.

Deputy Calleary welcomed the move but pointed out that it comes over 6 months after Fianna Fáil brought forward legislative amendments in the Dáil to empower the LPC to examine both of these low pay categories.

“This is a welcome development, but it’s unfortunate that the Government did not take on board our concerns six months ago. I introduced amendments to extend the remit of the LPC at both the Committee Stage and Report Stage of the National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Bill earlier this year,” said Deputy Calleary.

“These amendments would have allowed the LPC to investigate and make recommendations to the Minister on national minimum wage rates of pay for female workers as well as youth and apprentice workers. However I was disappointed when both of these progressive proposals were voted down and rejected by the Government at the time.

“With the election on the horizon the Government has now decided to perform a spectacular u-turn on low pay female and youth workers. It’s little more than a cynical move when you consider the Government rejected these very changes as proposed by Fianna Fáil 6 months ago.

“This Government has excelled in creating a two tier economy. It has created a situation whereby many workers, most of them being women, are in unstable work as they are only offered part-time, temporary employment or low hours contracts.

“Unfortunately the focus of this Government has centred on a jobs announcement or a photo opportunity being the primary policy goal over anything else. People deserve better than this PR and spin obsessed Government,” concluded Deputy Calleary.