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Plans for PRSI rebate is zero sum game for low income workers. Complete lack of imagination to supporting incomes and businesses.

21 April 2024

  • Government appears content to let thousands of firms close because of outstanding warehoused debt
  • A proposed PRSI rebate will inevitably lock low income workers to wages linked to the reduced PRSI threshold
  • Government is showing no imagination to helping wages and businesses survive.


Responding to reports that Government is planning to introduce a PRSI rebate for struggling businesses, Labour Worker’s Rights Spokesperson Marie Sherlock described the plans as short sighted, reflecting no vision for how to lift low paid workers into better decent wages and will lock these workers to wages linked to the lower PRSI threshold.


“A PRSI rebate will be yet another untargeted temporary life support for businesses and will do nothing to help businesses sustainably trade over the medium term. There is an irony here that we are about to see thousands of smaller and medium businesses go to the wall with the loss of many jobs over the next few weeks because those businesses can’t repay a pandemic life support measure. Government seems content to let them go out of business and then introduce a new form of life support.”


“Low paid workers will pay the price for these measures because they will be trapped at wage levels tied to the lower PRSI rate and we know that in some sectors that a high share of part time work patterns have evolved precisely in order to manage their PRSI bill. Over the past two years, Government didn’t index the reduced PRSI threshold or the PRSI taper to minimum wage increases in an apparent bid to transition employers away from this lower PRSI threshold targeting. Unfortunately and under pressure from employer groups, Government now appears to be reversing out of this.


“Instead of locking low paid workers at these minimum wage rates, Government needs to look at how it can support businesses in this country that pay well. It is believed Government spends in excess of €18bn in public procurement contracts every year and yet no conditions appears to be attached”.