Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs and Enterprise Dara Calleary has said the latest data from the Central Statistics Office showing a reduction in average weekly pre-tax earnings in the economy is a cause for concern.
Deputy Calleary commented: “There is a real sense of complacency on the part of the Government at the moment. Ministers are shrugging off warnings from the Fiscal Advisory Council and proceeding like the recovery in the economy is all but guaranteed. There are significant threats to recovery that need to be monitored and managed carefully.
“Today’s CSO preliminary estimates show that average weekly earnings were €671.70 in the 3rd quarter of last year, down 0.8% from €677.13 a year earlier. Meanwhile revised weekly earnings in the 2nd quarter of last year were €684.97, a decrease of 1.5% over the same period in 2013.
“These figures cast a cold shadow over the Government’s claims that living standards are rising.
“There is clear evidence of an increased casualisation in the workforce which would explain the disparity between the Government’s rhetoric of recovery and statistics pointing to decreases in earnings. People are clearly working fewer hours and have less stability and certainty in their take home pay.
“News of the reduction in earnings through last year comes as thousands of families across the country prepare for new water charges next year. The Government has not listened to the thousands of families across the country that simply cannot afford any more bills and are frustrated beyond belief. There are significant threats to the stability of the economy recovery and instead of managing this carefully the Government is playing fast and loose with tentative growth. We need less complacency and more recognition of the difficult position thousands of people are still struggling with every day.”