Budget 2014: Trade Unite calls for hike in minimum wage to €9.20
TRADE union Unite has called for a hike in the minimum wage in the Budget to €9.20 and no more cuts to public spending.
In its pre-budget submission, the body said the Government would still meet its targets without spending cuts and claimed the move would act as a form of stimulus for the economy.
It claimed consumer spending would rise by €1bn and employment would go up by 17,000.
Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said austerity was strangling the growth needed to create sufficient jobs and get people spending again.
“We need to start looking ‘Beyond Austerity’. That does not mean going back to business as usual - to an economy reliant on property related activities and speculation,” Mr Kelly said.
“Working people are still paying the price for the bubble economics that got us into this mess.
“Rather, Unite’s proposals are intended as a contribution to a vital debate about how we generate the investment needed to increase the economy’s productive capacity and create good sustainable jobs while reducing inequality, poverty and deprivation.”
Key proposals include:
- A halt to spending cuts
- An increase in employers PRSI on salaries above €100,000
- Reverse some of the cuts from previous budgets.
- A special investment programme equivalent to 1pc of the value of the economy, estimated at €1.7bn, to be funded from the sale of Irish Life and Bank of Ireland bonds.
- An increase in the minimum wage to €9.20. It is currently €8.65.
Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has called in its pre-budget submission for a temporary VAT rate of 9pc to be introduced for the construction sector for two years.
It also called for unemployed apprentices and craftspeople to retain social welfare entitlements while undergoing retraining programmes and an enhanced capital allowance for energy efficiency works on commercial buildings.
CIF director general Tom Parlon said the budget represented an opportunity.
This opportunity must be grasped. If the Government wants to create more jobs, to reduce the level of unemployment, to increase income tax revenue while also reducing the social welfare burden on the State, then we need to encourage growth in the economy,” Mr Parlon said.
“The most effective way to achieve that goal in the shortest possible turnaround is to get the construction sector working.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan will present Budget 2014 on October 15.