The Low Pay Commission is recommending an increase to the National Minimum Wage in Ireland to 50 cent per hour.
The current rate of the minimum wage is €8.65 and was last increased in 2011 by €1 (70p) to €8.65 (£6) following a cut of a similar amount imposed by the previous Government earlier in 2011.
In a report submitted to Business and Employment Minister, Ged Nash the Commission sets out a range of data it has considered in recommending the 50c increase, which would give a full time worker an annual pay rise of €1,000 (£700).
“Making work pay is a cornerstone of the Government’s dignity at work agend,” he said. “There are some 120,000 workers who are likely to benefit from such an increase. The establishment of the Low Pay Commission illustrates the Government’s determination to tackle the challenge of low pay in a structured and sustainable fashion.”
Commissioners sought submissions from interested parties and consulted directly with workers on the minimum wage and employers in relevant economic sectors.
In making its recommendation, the Low Pay Commission sets out a range of considerations it has taken into account, including:
- The available evidence suggests that moderate increases in the minimum wage will not lead to significant loss of jobs
- The Irish economy is recovering although it still faces risks particularly in the external environment
- The number of people in employment is increasing
- Unemployment remains high but has declined particularly in the last year
- Competitiveness has improved, partly due to exchange rate movements and it is important that this trend is maintained
- While inflation has been relatively low, the minimum wage has effectively remained at its current level for the past 8 years
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “The recommendations of the Low Pay Commission will be addressed in the Budget in October, alongside changes to the taxation system and the welfare system, so that all elements of our plan to make work pay will reinforce each other.”
This Government has brought about economic recovery and we can build a decade of growth, jobs and opportunity on that foundation and raise living standards across the board. Increasing the minimum wage in line with the independent Commission’s recommendation will be an important part of that process,” said Tanaiste Joan Burton.