Irish policy fuels low-pay
by Diarmaid Mac a Bhaird

Welfare supports and weak labour market protections are combining to facilitate low pay, poor working conditions, and insecure and precarious employment, according to the social change think-tank TASC.


'The state we are in: inequality in Ireland today' says Ireland ranks among the worst in the EU in terms of labour market protections and the regulation of temporary contracts. And inequality here is boosted by relatively high living costs and the lack of universal provision in public services like health, childcare and housing.


Coupled with poor labour market regulation, the report says welfare payments like child benefit, family income supplement and jobseekers’ allowance for part-time workers act as State subsidies for low-paying employers.


Ineffective regulation also puts governments under pressure to subsidise lower middle-income earners in precarious work, it says.

The study finds that the share of income among middle earners is generally stable across many countries. “Where Ireland differs is not that the poorest are unusually poor, but that groups above the bottom 10% get a smaller share compared to our more equal European neighbours,” it says.


TASC also says a high proportion of the population – 24% – are at risk of poverty. Over 27% of children are at risk, while adults with disabilities and lone parents are also particularly vulnerable groups.

Read the report HERE.


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