Minimum wage rise will narrow gender pay gap, says Sinn Féin

Increasing the minimum wage to €10 an hour would help close the gender pay gap for low-paid workers, Sinn Féin has said.

Raising the minimum wage from its current €9.25 is one of the main proposals in a party position paper focused on specific measures to support women it would like to see in the upcoming budget.

It said the step would be a "progressive mechanism" to close the gender pay gap, highlighting that two out of every three minimum wage workers are women.

Sinn Féin's "women's budget" also calls for a living wage in the civil service and an increase to income supports such as the family income supplement and carers allowance.

The party has also called for increased funding for domestic violence refuge and steps to reduce childcare costs.

Launching the document at the Molly Malone statute in Dublin, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald insisted the proposals were "fully costed".

"Despite the progress of recent decades fundamental inequities remain for women and their families," she said.

"Sinn Féin has produced this budget 2018 document for women to highlight the alternative social and economic choices that can be made by government.

"Sinn Féin is committed to economic policies that are rooted in social justice and to delivering prosperity for all.

"Be it access to social and affordable homes, tackling low pay, dealing with pension inequality or protecting women from domestic violence, the people need political leadership that will deliver the policies and necessary resources."

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