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Housing crisis drives 40c increase in Living Wage to €12.30 per hour

The report also said there were increased costs in energy in the last 12 months.

Image: Shutterstock/Garry0305

THE LIVING WAGE Technical Group has announced that Ireland’s so-called Living Wage has increased to €12.30 per hour.

The group, which published its annual report on the Living Wage today, said a 40c rise in the figure compared with last year has mainly been driven by the housing crisis.

The report also pointed to increases in costs associated with energy, as well as modest falls in the cost of household goods, food, and the cost of phone and internet use.

“For 2019 it is the large increase in housing costs that has dominated the calculation and driven the 40c increase,” the report reads.

The Living Wage represents an hourly wage rate that would provide workers with a sufficient income to allow them to achieve an agreed minimum standard of living.

It differs from the National Minimum Wage, which is based in law and not tied to the variable cost of living and is calculated by the Living Wage Technical Group, who focus on the cost of living to a single-adult household.

According to the group, the cost of rent is estimated to be more than half of the average income of those living in Dublin, 40% of the income of those living in other Irish cities and 33% of the income of those living in Irish towns.

By comparison, food – the next highest expense – made up 10% of costs in Dublin and 13% of costs in other Irish cities and towns.

“The current housing crisis, and associated increases in rent levels, continues to be the main driver of the wage rate increasing,” the report says.

It adds that private sector earnings grew by 3.4% between 2018 and 2019.

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