Minimum wage slated to rise by 10c per hour

Not the major increase some parties were calling for...

Minimum wage slated to rise by 10c per hour

File photo | Image: Niall Carson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Low Pay Commission has officially recommended that the minimum wage rises to €9.25 per hour.

The proposed increase in the hourly statutory pay rate was presented before Cabinet today, with the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation saying that a majority of members of the commission are in favour of the move.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the recommendation “will be considered in detail in the context of Budget 2017”. 

The rise of just 1.09% would be far below the last increase, when minimum wage rose by 50 cent per hour.

Earlier this month, the Living Wage Technical Group announced that it believes an hourly rate of €11.50 for Irish workers is a fair "living wage" that businesses should adopt.

The independent group employed detailed calculations of budget standards to reach a figure that would provide for a "decent life". 

Dr Nat O'Connor of the Living Wage Technical Group said at the time:

"When you look at the numbers of what someone can afford, €9.15 an hour is simply not enough for someone working full-time. Never mind those who are working part-time."

Dr O'Connor said the living wage only represents a rate of pay that would grant a "frugal standard of living", but that there could be benefits to employers as well as staff.

Meanwhile, the Small Firms Association (SFA) cited the threat posed by Brexit as a major reason not to offer Irish workers an increase in the minimum wage.

The employers group pointed to the falling value of sterling as making the country less competitive compared to our business counterparts across the Irish Sea – the country's goods are now 19% more expensive in the UK market than they were at the end of last year.

The SFA has said raising the minimum wage would only serve to place additional cost pressures on vulnerable small businesses and there is "no justification for doing so". One member said that it had "maxed out" at the current €9.15 hourly rate.