Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that says he considers some people on the minimum wage to be “middle class”.
He said that those are the people to whom he refers when he wants to stand up for middle classes.
He made the comment in an interview with TV3’s Vincent Browne, who hosts his final show on the station tonight.
Mr Varadkar included the lowest-paid workers when he was asked to define what he considered to be an average “middle class” wage.
“It’s between 35 and 40-something thousand, so I would go much broader than that, I would include people who are on the minimum wage, people who work very hard, but would be earning less than that,” he said.
When challenged by Vincent Browne on his assertion, he responded: “Over 70% of people describe themselves as middle class and Middle Ireland is even broader again.”
I am text block. Click edit button to change this text.
Mr Varadkar also gave a clear indication that he is considering a vacant homes tax.
“There are a lot of vacant properties in the country, some of those could be renovated and brought into use, some could be purchased, and I think we need to impose penalties on people who leave houses vacant in areas where there’s a very demand for housing, and those houses should be in use,” he said.