Press Release: Low Pay Commission must be independent with its reports being respected and not politically undermined.
North Kildare Chamber today (23rd August) said, “The national minimum wage must reflect the current economic realities facing Ireland and Irish business. We are in a period of low inflation, global economic slowdown and increasing economic uncertainty resulting from the Brexit referendum. 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. The value of Sterling has dropped significantly since the Brexit referendum results. This is worrying for export businesses trading with the UK as Irish products become more expensive in light of Sterling’s drop in value. Firms face either dropping their prices to trade with the UK or a loss in demand on the UK side.
Government need to recognise the findings from the Low Pay Commission and not scare monger businesses with talk of potential increase of the minimum wage to €10.00 per hour.
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 to €10 per hour 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 higher than that stated by the Low Pay Commission 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.”