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Living Wage Increases By 20 Cent Per Hour

The 2017 ‘Living Wage’ has been set at €11.70 per hour, up €0.20 on the €11.50 set last year.

The living wage is defined as the average hourly gross salary that a full-time worker would need to earn to ensure sufficient food, clothing, basic personal care, and health costs, while being able to meet a friend for coffee occasionally, maybe download a song from iTunes, or take a trip to the cinema a couple of times a year.

This years 20 cents increase is brought about by cost of living increases and changes in the taxation system over the past year, with the current housing crisis, and increases in rent levels, being the main reason given for the increase.

With the exception of heating oil, the cost of food, electricity, natural gas, clothing, and health insurance all saw reductions in 2017, while changes to the Universal Social Charge (USC) increased net pay for all persons earning the living wage.

Initially set up in 2014, the ‘Living Wage Rate’ is refreshed in July of each year, and employers can choose to pay their staff the higher rate, which is set each year by a group comprising of researchers and academics, who calculate what people need to earn to have a basic standard of living.

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