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Varadkar to present Cabinet with study on living wage

Leo Varadkar is expected to bring a new study to the Cabinet later today which, if implemented, could lead to a wage increase for the country’s lowest-paid workers.

The current minimum wage is €10.10 and a living wage, the income that makes a minimum acceptable standard of living possible, has been calculated at €12.30.

Mr Varadkar, the Tánaiste and enterprise minister, restated his commitment to introducing a living wage last month, and noted that the pandemic has laid bare the work put in by frontline workers including “the retail worker, transport worker, cleaner, and food service staff”.

“One of the legacies of the pandemic must be better terms and conditions for them, including the move to a living wage, and access to an occupational pension,” he told a seminar.

The Tánaiste also said that any move to implement a living wage could only be done after a public consultation period and engagement with employers and unions. 

However, a living wage, if approved, would fulfil a commitment in the programme for government.

Helen McEntee, the justice minister, is bringing a memo on behalf of James Browne, the Minister of State in her department with responsibility for law reform, about a community approach to the new legislation on quad bikes and scramblers.

The memo is to sit alongside recently-approved legislation aimed at clamping down on antisocial use of such vehicles.

Today’s Cabinet meeting is expected to be dominated by the vaccine rollout, as the country suffers another hammer blow to its vaccine plans.

The Taoiseach will meet with Brian MacCraith, chair of the vaccine taskforce, early this morning, and will brief the Cabinet at 10am.

Stephen Donnelly, the health minister, is also to update Cabinet on the current suspension of mandatory hotel quarantine after his department and Tifco Hotel Group agreed to temporarily pause the booking portal.

Government sources have expressed concern that the hotel quarantine issue, which has already caused a rift between the departments of health and foreign affairs is becoming unmanageable as more unforeseen problems become apparent.

“This has been done as a precautionary measure to enable further assessment of capacity within the mandatory hotel quarantine system for the coming days,” a spokeswoman said.

Those who have already made their booking for mandatory hotel quarantine are not affected.

“Bookings can still be made for dates from Monday 19 April onwards,” she said. “The temporary pause will be kept under ongoing review should additional capacity become available.”

Read More: Varadkar to present Cabinet with study on living wage -news.google.com

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