The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is calling on the Government to immediately introduce a 'very significant rise' in the current minimum wage rate.

Launching ICTU's pre-budget submission, Patricia King ICTU General Secretary, said that the forthcoming budget must prioritise raising wages and introduce targeted measures to lift households out of energy poverty and safeguard workers' incomes and jobs.

"Decent wages for all workers are central to resolving the cost-of-living crisis", Ms King said.

ICTU says that average weekly wages are rising by just one quarter of the rate of inflation and that Ireland remains a 'low-pay, high-cost country' for many.

"Budget 2023 must introduce immediate targeted measures to lift households out of energy poverty, by introducing temporary, tapered price caps for those in or at risk," Ms King said.

In June, the Government announced plans to replace the current minimum wage of €10.50 per hour with a new 'living wage' which will be phased in over four years starting next year.

The living wage will be set at 60% of the median wage in any given year which, in 2022, would be €12.17 an hour.