The document says the official view that the Brexit fallout means a higher pay rise cannot happen is also not based on fact.
The situation was confirmed by a senior Government source familiar with the document last night as opposition TDs urged the Fine Gael-led coalition to force through a higher increase than recommended as the current plan will not provide any help to 70,000 working people at risk of poverty.
Under plans published by Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the Low Pay Commission called for the national minimum wage to be increased by 10c, from €9.15c to €9.25c.
The situation, which remains a recommendation until a decision is made in the upcoming budget, is in contrast to the €10.50 increase outlined in the programme for government less than three months ago.
In the Dáil, Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted the 10c increase “is an indication of how serious employers view Brexit” and was recommended in part by business representatives on the Low Pay Commission panel who fear they will be unable to cope with a higher hike.
It emerged last night that the commission panel was itself in conflict over whether to limit the increase to just 10c. A Government source confirmed an unpublished “minority” report by three of the commission’s nine members recommended a “significantly higher” rise than publicly stated and says the Brexit rationale was not based on fact.
Opposition and interest groups lashed out at what they labelled an unacceptably low increase for people in need.
Speaking during leader’s questions, Labour leader Brendan Howlin said the rise will add “just €200 a year” to a low-paid worker, a rate he said is “hardly enough to lift a family out of poverty”.
People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger and the Mandate trade union said the “derisory” 10c rise means it would have been better to have no increase at all.
However, Ibec said even this small rise would impact negatively on businesses as they already gave a 50c minimum wage increase last year.