Living Wage

The Living Wage rate for 2023/24 is €14.80 per hour

LW 23-24 Rate - site

The reference hourly Living Wage rate will rise to €14.80 per hour for 2023/24. This represents a 6.9% (€0.95) change from the 2022/23 rate of €13.85 per hour. This is the minimum rate required for a full-time worker (without dependents) to afford the goods and services that people have agreed are essential for enabling a life with dignity.

The Irish Living Wage rate is calculated on the basis of the Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) research, and set by the Living Wage Technical Group. It reflects the real costs faced by employees in Ireland. The change to the annual Living Wage rate is determined by changes in living costs and income taxes.

Over the past year living costs have increased for most areas of expenditure included in the calculation. Within this, rising energy costs (+23%) and food costs (+21%) added €23 to the price of the average weekly basket. This significant pressure fuelled two-thirds of the required increase in the Living Wage rate.

Other areas of weekly expenditure which also grew notably include Personal Care (+9.2%), Social Inclusion (+6.3%), and Clothing (+5.9%). While Transport related costs decreased slightly (-2.0%).

Rent increases continue to be a significant factor pushing up the Living Wage rate, and increased by an average of 7.0% (almost €13 per week). The new Rent Tax Credit has limited the impact of rising rents on the Living Wage rate required. Without the Rent Tax Credit the hourly rate would have risen by a further €0.35 to €15.15. 

Adjustments to tax credits, the €75 increase to the PAYE and single person credit and the introduction of the rent tax credit, have reduced the tax liability on the full-time living wage salary by €12.50 per week. This has limited the required increase in the Living Wage (6.9%) rate this year to below the rate of increase in minimum living costs (8.6%).

The Living Wage is based on price levels at the time of calculation (changes up to March 2023). While the rate of inflation has reduced over recent months, living costs remain exceptionally high and official forecasts do not anticipate a return to earlier price levels. The ongoing cost of living changes will feed through to next year’s calculations – they will reflect price changes and the various supports outlined in Budget 2024 and in any future cost of living initiatives.

LW step chart

It is estimated that approximately one-in-five full-time workers are earning less than the Living Wage in Ireland and the gap between the National Minimum Wage (€12.70 per hour in 2024) and the Living Wage will be €2.10 per hour next year.

The Living Wage rate is based on the rationale that full-time employment will at least provide for a socially acceptable minimum standard of living for a single person without dependents. It represents the minimum required to meet physical, social and psychological needs, and enable a life with dignity.

This differs from the Government’s Living Wage which adopts a fixed threshold approach as opposed to the “basket of good” approach used by the LWTG.  The Government’s living wage will be set at 60% of the median wage by 2026, which in 2024 is estimated to be €13.80 per hour.

A Living Wage is intended to establish an hourly wage rate that should provide employees with sufficient income to achieve an agreed acceptable minimum standard of living. In that sense it is an income floor; representing a figure which allows employees afford the essentials of life. Earnings below the Living Wage suggest employees are forced to do without certain essentials so they can make ends-meet.

Further details on the Living Wage and on the methodology used to calculate the hourly Living Wage rate can be found on

The Living Wage

The Living Wage is based on the concept that work should provide an adequate income to enable individuals to afford a socially acceptable minimum standard of living.

The Living Wage is the average gross salary which will enable full-time employed adults (without dependents) across Ireland to afford a socially acceptable minimum standard of living.

Unlike the National Minimum Wage, the Living Wage is an evidence based rate of pay which is grounded in social consensus. It is derived from Consensual Budget Standards research, which establishes the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living in Ireland today.

National Minimum Wage

Living Wage

  • A rate which is set by policy makers
  • A rate which is based on evidence and research
  • Does not reflect the cost of a standard of living
  • Benchmarked against the cost of minimum standard of living
  • Does not change as living costs change
  • Updated each year to reflect changes in the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living



Living Wage