Opposition will act on minimum wage
SENIOR opposition politicians vowed to revoke planned cuts to the minimum wage as they led a crowd of demonstrators outside the Dail yesterday.
A group of around 60 demonstrators gathered outside the gates of Leinster House to denounce plans to cut the minimum wage by €1 an hour, as the second stage of the controversial Social Welfare Bill passed by a narrow margin.
Outside, Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein all vowed to repeal the €1 cut to the €8.65-an-hour minimum wage if they got into government.
"If we're to get out of the problems we face as a country, one of the essential ingredients is a sense of fairness," Fine Gael's enterprise spokesman Richard Bruton said.
Labour's enterprise spokesman Willie Penrose called the wage cut "a red herring" that would add nothing to the state coffers.
But he added the move "could drive people into abject poverty".
Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris said: "We totally and absolutely oppose any attack on workers' rights. . .
"Sinn Fein will be calling on all members in that institution in there to come out and give a pledge that if they have power that they will reverse what's being attempted here today," he added. Meanwhile in a separate development yesterday Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik was selected as party leader Eamon Gilmore's general election running mate in Dun Laoghaire.
Mr Gilmore flagged her nomination a fortnight ago.
Ms Bacik has previously run in the Dublin Central by-election last year and failed to secure a nomination in Dublin South-East for this general election. Mr Gilmore is under pressure to deliver a second seat for Labour in the constituency.