Opening Bell: Minimum wage increases won't solve poverty, Irish banks ready for Brexit, the FTSE stutters

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The Economic and Social Research Institute says increasing the minimum wage is not an efficient way to tackle poverty.

A new ESRI study has shown that raising the hourly rate does not benefit the majority of those below the poverty line, as “very few” actually receive the wage.

While an increase would benefit low-paid workers, most of those live in middle-income households.

The research arrives as the Low Pay Commission looks likely to recommend a 25% increase in the minimum wage.

Dalata chief Pat McCann has warned that it would have knock-on effect across the hotel group, and could divert investment to the UK. 

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Irish banks are ready for a Brexit, according to the Central Bank.

Launching its Macro Financial Review yesterday, Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery said it is “satisfied all short-term contingencies have been prepared for.”

The Central Bank does not have major concerns that financial firms would struggle if the UK votes to leave the European Union next week.

Nevertheless, a negative impact on Irish exports to the UK “could be expected”.

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Solar energy firms are claiming that 7,300 high-value jobs could be created if the Government introduces subsidies in the sector.

The Irish Solar Energy Association is looking for the kind of investment already applied to other forms of energy such as wind, wave and peat.

The proposed subsidies would add 1% to domestic electricity bills, totalling around €25m a year.

The association has also warned that the State faces a "real challenge" to meet EU targets to generate 40% of electricity from renewables by 2020.

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The FTSE 100 lost £20 billion in value in just one day's trading as fears grow over the possibility of a Brexit coming to pass.

London was down 2% on Tuesday, bringing losses to over £100bn over the last four days.

At home, the Iseq fell below the key psychological 6,000-point level.

European shares are also suffering ahead of the UK referendum, and the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting today.

They fell for a fifth straight session to reach a new three-month low.