Written Answers. - National Minimum Wage.

Jim Mitchell

Question:

61 Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of persons on the national minimum income; the number of those who are single and the number who are married; and in the latter case, if it could be further sub-divided into those with or without dependants. [16394/01]

I assume that the Deputy is referring to the national minimum wage for employees.

The National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 came into force on 1 April 2000 and the national minimum hourly rate of pay was set at £4.40. From 1 July 2001 this rate is set to increase to £4.70.

An ESRI study of the likely impact of the minimum wage was published in June 1999. This study estimated that 163,000 employees, particularly women and young workers, would benefit from the introduction of the legislation. The ESRI has been commissioned to carry out a follow up survey to a firm survey it carried out as part of its 1999 study, and the results of this survey are expected shortly.
The 1999 study by the ESRI included a family profile of those expected to gain from the national minimum wage as follows:

Group

% of Gainers(Group Gainers as % of all Gainers)

Single Employees

67

Employed Lone Parents

4

Single Earner Couples

5

Dual Earner Couples

23

All

100

The results of the survey now being undertaken by the ESRI will not include information on whether those on the minimum wage are single or married nor will it include information on their dependants and no official statistics on these matters are available.