10% of earners take home a third of all income in 2016; bottom half earn just 20%

The top 10% of earners in Ireland took home a third of all income in 2016, while the bottom 50% of earners took home just one fifth.

This is according to new figures from the Revenue Commissioners which were released today to Sinn Féin.

This is the first time the gross income per individual rather than "taxpayer unit" have been published.

In 2016, 10,000 of the highest earning citizens took home €5.6bn between them - that's just over 500,000 in gross pay each.

These statistics show that the top 1% of earners took home 11% of all income in the country during the 12 months.

Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has called for an increase in the minimum wage to €10.50 an hour following the release of these figures.

He said: "As a result of many months of lobbying and engagement by Sinn Féin, the Revenue Commissioners have released figures revealing a shocking level of income inequality at the heart of Irish society.

“The top 10% of earners take home a third of all income, while the top 1% of earners now take home 11% of income.

"Overall the highest earning 10,000 citizens in the state took home €5.6bn between them. That means that on average 10,000 people took home more than half a million euro each in gross pay.

The TD went on: “But for a majority of Irish citizens, this is not a reality they recognise. Irish families face some of the highest living costs in the developed world. The cost of living day-to-day, burdened with extortionate childcare fees and rent, is too high for far too many people.

“This is made worse by the fact that Ireland still ranks among the worst OECD countries for rates of low pay.

“It is clear that income inequality across the state is rife, and for lower and middle-income families, living in Ireland simply isn’t affordable.

The Donegal Sinn Fein TD concluded: “In the coming Budget Sinn Féin is proposing an increase in the minimum wage of almost €1 per hour, raising it to €10.50 per hour."

Read the full report from the Revenue Commissioner here

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