North Kildare Chamber today [19th July] commenting on the Low Pay Commission Report said, “The national minimum wage must reflect the current economic realities facing Ireland and Irish business. In a period of low inflation, global economic slowdown and increasing economic uncertainty resulting from the Brexit referendum, any increase to the minimum wage at this point would risk undermining Ireland’s continued growth at a crucial time for our economy. The long-term implications of the UK’s decision to leave the EU are still unknown for Irish business and it is more important than ever to protect our competitiveness and ability to attract investment.”

“Rather than increasing minimum wage, now is the time for government to address issues such as housing and childcare which contribute to a high cost of living. By addressing these issues the government can alleviate the pressures on those living and working in Ireland, reduce wage demands and increase disposable income. Increasing the minimum wage does not appropriately address household poverty but tackling housing and childcare will contribute towards a better quality of life for all.”

Allan Shine, CEO of the Chamber concluded by stating “Ireland and Kildare needs to attract as much labour intensive FDI as possible in order to boost employment and increasing the minimum wage will not enable us to compete for these kinds of jobs. Increasing labour costs in an economy which already has high costs due to its peripheral geographical location will inhibit Ireland’s ability to attract labour intensive FDI.”