Ged Nash says forum on living wage to be set up

New low pay committee to be set up to discuss potential living wage campaign

Minister for Employment Ged Nash announced the setting up of a new low pay commission earlier this week. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Employment Ged Nash announced the setting up of a new low pay commission earlier this week. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

A forum on the living wage is to be set up in the summer, Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash has announced.

He said it would include trade unions, employers and representatives of civil society.

Speaking at the Labour conference in Killarney, he said he had been working with UK agencies exploring how the living wage concept had been developed and implemented.

“I think this will be a very progressive move and something we need to discuss and examine in close detail,’’ he added.

Mr Nash announced the setting up of a new low pay commission earlier this week.

He said in Killarney that the involvement of employers would be required. The meaning of a living wage would be discussed in a structured way, he added.

“The minimum wage is the floor beneath which nobody should be allowed to fall, but the living wage is not a creature of statute,’’ he added.

“It is not something any government would legislate for.’’

Mr Nash said the strength of the living wage was that it derived from a civil society campaign and was a bottom-up approach to improving living standards.

He said progressive employers, of whom there were many in Ireland, could potentially sign up to the living wage campaign.