A recommended 10c increase in the national minimum wage — outlined to government yesterday and due to be considered as part of the October Budget package — has been widely-slammed as being anti-business and potentially damaging to Ireland’s competitiveness.
The Low Pay Commission’s latest recommendation is for a 10c increase from the €9.15 per hour rate introduced at the start of the year and will be “considered in detail”, Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell-O’Connor said.
However, the Small Firms Association said an increase is “unjustified” at a time when the country’s economic recovery risks destabilisation by the UK’s vote to leave the EU and immediately called on the Government to reject the idea.
Isme suggested the minimum wage has failed to reduce poverty and called for it to be abolished and replaced by a minimum income policy with earned income tax credits “to encourage people to take up jobs, rather than remain on the dole.”
Another increase — following this year’s 6% rise — threatens Irish competitiveness and doesn’t reflect the realities of trading conditions facing Irish businesses, since the Brexit vote, Chambers Ireland said, while Ibec said a rise in the minimum wage would “hit firms already reeling from sterling’s collapse”.
However, the retail representatives were torn — the Ibec-affiliated Retail Ireland saying a rise would add pressure to the sector; but the independent Retail Excellence Ireland welcoming the recommendation, saying it is “realistic” taking into account a “soft” first half to 2016 in many industries.
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