Bruton: Proposed 50c increase to minimum wage a good compromise

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has said that says the proposed 50c per hour increase in the minimum wage is a balanced compromise.

Unions have called it too little and wanted a hike of €1 or more, but businesses say that is a cost they cannot afford.

Bruton: Proposed 50c increase to minimum wage a good compromise

Minister Richard Bruton has promised the coalition will look at reducing employers PRSI in the Budget to defray the cost.

He said that he believes it is the right level of increase.

"This isn't a political decision, we've brought together people who have experience, they've sifted through the evidence," he said.

"When you see a proposal of this nature, with opposition on both sides - one saying it's too much, and another saying it's not enough - it sounds like the group has done a good job in pitching towards something that is manageable, affordable, and yet gives people a return for their efforts."

Trade union Unite's regional secretary Jimmy Kelly said he is disappointed with the final recommendation.

"We've now expressed severe disappointment in the Low Pay Commission going in the direction of 50 cent - it's the most minimalist response to the low pay crisis," he said.

"Nearly 20% of workers are living in what we would describe as depravation".

"Around 70,000 minimum wage workers are at the back of the queue when it comes to this so-called economic recovery."

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has labelled recommendations by the Low Pay Commission to raise the minimum wage by 50 cent as a “box ticking exercise”.

“A study conducted earlier this year by Eurofound illustrated that Ireland was among four countries not to increase the minimum wage in recent times, along with Belgium, Greece, and Slovenia,” she said.

“The data also showed that when minimum wage levels are compared with the Consumer Price Index, the purchasing power of Ireland’s minimum wage actually went down.

“A recommended increase of 50 cent is not enough. Sinn Féin would like to see the minimum wage raised by €1 per hour with incremental moves towards a living wage.

“This minimal increase will not help families and individuals aspiring towards a fair recovery when it comes straight back out of their pockets again with spiralling rents and extra taxes.”

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