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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald welcome proposals to increase National Minimum Wage by 30c

The Low Pay Commission is recommending an increase in the national minimum wage of 30 cents to €9.55 per hour. The announcement was made by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise & Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD, and Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath.

In its report to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise & Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD, the Low Pay Commission sets out the range of data it has considered in recommending the increase, including risks to the economy and international comparative research. The Commission also sought submissions from interested parties and consulted directly with workers and employers in relevant economic sectors.

Speaking after Cabinet discussed the matter today, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “The Government welcomes the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to increase the national minimum wage by 30c to €9.55 per hour. It would work out as a €12 increase in a full 40 hour week. This would be a modest increase but it’s ahead of the rate of inflation and average increases in earnings. It would be the fourth increase in the minimum wage since 2011, and the second under this Government, and a further step towards the Programme for Government commitment for a minimum wage of €10.50.

“The Government wants everyone to have an opportunity to share in the ongoing recovery. Increasing the minimum wage will help to achieve that goal by providing an absolute minimum for earnings. We intend to formally respond to the Report this autumn, including its recommendations regarding employers’ PRSI, in the context of Budget 2018.”
An Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said “I warmly welcome the recommendation to increase the National Minimum Wage by 30c. Increasing the minimum wage is just one tool in a wider Government programme to help the lower paid and incentivise people into work. New childcare subsidies are coming on stream in September and I am progressing a set of new proposals to address zero hour contracts, low hour contracts, banded hours and related matters to help combat the issues of so-called precarious employment in a balanced way.

“The Low Pay Commission is non-political. It draws on a range of data in reaching its recommendations and takes into account issues such as job-creation, competitiveness, currency exchange rates and international comparisons. These issues are also considered in the wider context of Ireland’s continued emergence from recession and the potential impact of Brexit.”

Minister Finian McGrath said: “The recommendation to increase the Minimum Wage is to be welcomed and is something that is very important to all partners in Government. We still have a way to go to bringing it to the Programme for Government target of €10.50 an hour, but this recommendation is a very positive and strong step forward.”

Minister Pat Breen TD added: “I also welcome the Report and would like to thank the Commissioners for their work in producing this third report which takes account of an even broader range of data than previous reports. This comprehensive analysis is to be welcomed’’.