Taoiseach defends his definition of minimum wage workers as 'middle class'

The Taoiseach has defended his comments referring to some minimum wage workers as 'middle class'.

Leo Varadkar's comments were widely criticised, with some claiming that a full-time worker on €20,000 could not be considered middle-class.

But the Taoiseach has said plenty of people have supported him over his comments made to TV3's Vincent Browne.

And he says his own vision of the 'middle class' is broader than just money.

“I don’t think it’s about your income in any given year. It’s about how you see yourself and your aspirations,” said Varadkar.

“They want better for themselves and they want better for their families,” he added.

Mr Varadkar included the lowest-paid workers when he was asked to define what he considered to be an average "middle class" wage.

"It's between 35 and 40-something thousand, so I would go much broader than that, I would include people who are on the minimum wage, people who work very hard, but would be earning less than that," he said.

When challenged by Vincent Browne on his assertion, he responded: "Over 70% of people describe themselves as middle class and Middle Ireland is even broader again."

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