Living on the Minimum Wage

10th January, 2009

I have been contacted by some people about my offer to live on the minimum wage. This all came about due to comments made by Ray D’Arcy on his show on Today FM. Ray was rightly pointing to the concerns that many people have about how out of touch politicians are from the problems facing Ireland. I have written about this a lot on this site over the last year. The kind of people getting elected into the Oireachtas increasingly do not have the backgrounds and experiences that allow them to understand issues like the uncompetitiveness of our manufacturing sector, lack of broadband and so on. Ray challenged any politician to contact his show and offer to live on the minimum wage for 2 weeks. I contacted them and said I would be willing to give this a go.

Many of the issues that I deal with from my constituents are about the difficulty of making ends meet. So I actually believe that I have a decent grasp of these kinds of problems. I understand that only one other politician contacted the show. I have not heard anything back from Today FM in the last few days. But I think it was a good idea from Today FM and ideas like this should be followed up on by elected representatives so that they can attempt to show others that we do have an understanding of what it is like outside the gates of Leinster House.