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Thursday 23 February 2017

Labour will protect low paid workers – Joanna Tuffy

independent.ie reporters

Labour Party TDs and ministers are united in the fight to preserve wages for low page workers, according to one of the party's Dublin backbenchers.

Dublin Mid-West TD Joanna Tuffy was responding to plans by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton to cut the wages of 250,000 workers in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors.

The proposals were criticised by several Labour backbenchers yesterday and speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland today, Ms Tuffy said Minister Bruton's plans were his "personal opinions", which he was entitled to, "But the minister is just one member of cabinet and the cabinet will make the decision.”

Ms Tuffy said Mr Bruton's plan would not create jobs and could in fact lead to increased unemployment and widen inequality. "If you reduce the terms and conditions of these workers, you reduce demand in the hospitality and retail sectors and you could end up crearting more unemployment,” she said.

She said she was confident that her views were also those of the Labour Party as a whole, and said ministers Joan Burton and Brendan Howlin agreed with her.

"I'm confident that the party will protect low paid workers,” she said. Asked if she would vote against Minister Bruton's proposals if they came before the Dail, she said she "didn't think it will come to that".

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