Northern Ireland tops list of scrooge bosses

Paddy Logue, a spokesperson for the Derry-based Campaign for Decent Wages, has called for renewed efforts to have a minimum wage established in Northern Ireland. Speaking at the AGM of the Campaign he pointed out that "It is a sad reflection of the depressed state of the local economy that the figure £4.29p considered a minimum wage in London, would be considered generous by many local workers".

Paddy Logue's comments were reinforced by the publication of a report published by the Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Action Network entitled 'All Work and Low Pay: the case for a statutory minimum wage in Northern Ireland'. The report shows that one in four people in Northern Ireland stand to get a pay rise if a minimum wage is introduced. The report also shows that in Northern Ireland workers earn on average 20% less than their British counterpart even though some basic essentials, like electricity, cost more.

Indeed the report suggests that the north is significantly worse off than Britain in many respects. For example, 25% of Northern Ireland homes have an income of less than £125 a week compared to just over 20% in England. Weekly earnings for men and women are the lowest for any region of the UK.