Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Senator Dearey and the poor paying

October 19th, 2010 · 7 Comments · eejit.., Equality, Green Party, Recession

The Order of Business in the Seanad brings up all sorts of kites to be flown by Senators checking in for their part time job which attracts the payment of an amount many times over the national minimum wage.

Today Green Party appointed Senator Mark Dearey joined some of his kin in the SME sector calling for new employees to be able to negotiate their salaries below the minimum wage for the period of a year.

I call for a debate on the national minimum wage. I do not refer to the amount per se but to the fact that it is acting as a barrier to employment creation for a cohort of those seeking jobs.

The last increase in the minimum wage was on 1 July 2007 when it went from €8.30 to €8.65, a 35 cent increase. While that may not seem much, for every 100 hours of employment an employer provides, it is a €35 increase, and many small employers are providing 200 to 300 hours a week. One can do the sums to round that up to approximately €5,000 per year which this 35 cent will cost an average retailer, small business, pub or otherwise.

It is a competitiveness issue but it is also a case where employers are deciding not to employ and to run their businesses on the basis of providing a minimal service level to customers because they simply cannot afford to provide a full service. If employers were free to negotiate with prospective employees around rates below the national minimum wage, it could bring a very large number of new people into the workforce.

Obviously, in these negotiations such people would need to be protected by employment regulation orders and registered employment agreements if it is within a sector that is recognised by the sectoral agreements currently in place. With some consideration and sufficient protection given to those seeking employment, an arrangement could be entered into whereby, for a limited period of perhaps a year, people could be brought into the workforce at a rate below the national minimum wage, obviously with a view to their being on the minimum wage of €8.65 an hour within a given period. This would remove a significant barrier, act as an employment generator and give a huge boost to competitiveness for many employers who currently provide a sub-optimal level of service to their customers.

I wonder how many people would do Mark Dearey’s job for an initial period of a year for less than his salary, if the cap fits Senator?

Yesterday The Poor Can’t Pay launched two video’s concerning the effects of cuts on the low paid, older people and people with disabilities.

In Mark Dearey’s world it seems that the poor will not only pay they will be expected to undercut each other.



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