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Lord Mayor attacks employers group over threats to Irish workers

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr has condemned an attempt by the employers’ umbrella group, Ibec to use the recent vote by the UK to leave the EU to further its attack on workers in Ireland.

Speaking yesterday, Councillor Carr said:

“In its response to Brexit this week, IBEC claimed that the correct approach for the Government is to consider driving down workers’ wages and reducing the ability of the State to fund our already overwhelmed social supports. From its approach it is clear that IBEC does not care about ripping apart the already strained fabric of our society.

“Recently, I met with a family where both parents were working, but due to the insufficient nature of their earnings, and the extent of the housing crisis, they were forced to live in emergency accommodation. These are people willing to work every hour they can but still find it impossible to secure a stable home for their children.”

His attack came in response to the results of a survey Ibec published earlier in the week which warned that currency effects and lower exports caused by the British vote to leave the European Union have resulted in “a full blown currency crisis” that threatens jobs in Ireland.

In his statement , Ibec Director of Policy Feral O’Brien said:

“The Brexit strain is manifest and intense. Without urgent action to address competitive pressures, hundreds of millions of euro worth of exports and thousands of Irish jobs will be lost.

“Individual businesses have been slow to talk publicly, but the feedback from members is clear and unambiguous. Businesses and jobs are already under threat.”

Lord Mayor Carr said the use of language by Ibec couldn’t disguise their true meaning.

“Of course the IBEC response to Brexit uses weasel words such as a need to overcome ‘competitiveness issues’ relating to labour costs and the minimum wage to hide what is really a call for attacking the livelihoods of working people,” he said.

“It also calls for increased ‘tax competitiveness’, which for IBEC is merely short hand for tax cutting. It is regrettable that IBEC has made such a knee-jerk attempt to exploit what is a difficult political and economic issue to further its failed agenda of attempting to undermine the benefits of our economic recovery for workers, particularly those on low pay.”

“Perhaps IBEC would be better served working with its members to ensure they are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities resulting from the UK’s changing relationship with the EU rather than merely launching another attack on workers and the funding of our already strained public services.”