The Irish Government has announced it will raise the national minimum wage to €6.60 an hour in April 2019 from €6,750 a year later.
The hike comes after the Government spent nearly €50 million last year to help workers who were left struggling under the cost of unemployment benefits.
This is the highest rise in living standards in the last 20 years.
The Government is also raising the maximum income threshold for employers to pay the minimum wage from €8,000 to €11,500.
In 2017, the Government raised the minimum hourly wage to $11.80 an hour from $10.25, and introduced a new pension age of 66.
The minimum wage rise comes as the Irish economy is growing at an average annual rate of 5.6 per cent, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by more than a million last month to its lowest level in nine years.
For many, it is the latest example of what is happening to the country as they struggle to find work.
In an attempt to get people back to work, the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.9 per cent.
There are also fears of a further rise in the minimum salary to €12,000 as the Government moves towards a €1.9 billion expansion of the State Pension Fund.
As well as the increase to the minimum, the National Audit Office has said the Government should pay an additional €200 million to help people get back into the workforce after a period of unemployment.
It also recommends an additional 500,000 people should be paid in the form of income support.
According to the National Institute of Health, an increase of €1,500 a year would lift the income of over one million people.
A similar increase to €1 a week is also proposed by the Government to help the unemployed.
With unemployment still running at 10 per cent across the country, many are calling for a realignment of priorities in the economy, and for the Government and the government to step up.
“It is not a time for idle talk, it’s a time to act,” Mr Kenny said at a news conference today.
“We have got to do things that are necessary to get us back on the track.”