Fine Gael TD for Dublin North West, Noel Rock, has said today (Tuesday) that the Government should go further than the 10 cent per hour increase recommended by the Low Pay Commission.
“The Low Pay Commission is today recommending an increase in the national minimum wage of 10 cents per hour, bringing it to €9.25 per hour.
“The minimum wage was last increased on 1st January this year, following Government acceptance of the Low Pay Commission’s first recommendation that the rate increase by 50 cents an hour from €8.65.
“In its latest report submitted to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, the Commission, which is independent and non-political, sets out a range of data it has considered in recommending the increase, taking into account issues such as impacts on job-creation and competitiveness.
“Minister Mitchell O’Connor brought the Commission’s report and recommendation to Government earlier today, and has said it will be considered in detail in the context of Budget 2017. I respect the independence of the Low Pay Commission, and their advice. However, it is just that, advice.
“I am appealing to the Minister and her Cabinet colleagues to increase the minimum wage by more than this 10 cent recommendation. I accept these are uncertain economic times, especially in the context of Brexit, but a 1% adjustment in the minimum wage is just not enough for hard pressed lower paid workers. It would be a slap in the face in percentage terms.
“I firmly believe the Government needs to consider rising costs for daily goods, as well as things such as car insurance and rent, when looking at the minimum wage. While it is true that overall inflation is running at a low level, we see that these two essentials are running at a high level, as is the cost of public transport. For many on the minimum wage, their cost of living has increased by more than the average. Frankly, a 1% increase in the minimum wage is hardly worth the administrative work that it will cause. I will be pursuing this matter in advance of the Budget.”