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Cabinet to approve 80 cent rise to minimum wage

The Cabinet is tomorrow set to approve an €0.80 rise to the minimum wage, bringing it to €11.30 per hour from the beginning of next year.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar will bring a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to Government in the morning.

This is one of the biggest increases in the minimum wage but the Commission has warned that the rate alone cannot compensate workers for inflation and recent increases in the cost of living.

It recommends that additional measures are taken to support low paid workers.

The commission also sets out an indicative rate for what is called a Living Wage.

It is set to replace the minimum wage by 2026 and it will be set at 60% of the average wage.

However, employers who opt to pay this wage from next year would pay staff €13.10 an hour.

The Cabinet is expected to consider further proposals from the Tánaiste next month on the Living Wage plan.

Labour Party spokesperson on employment rights Marie Sherlock said it was too little, too late.

In a statement, she said: “We believe that wage rises are a critical part of what is needed to resolve the current cost of living crisis for workers.

“Yet the value of the increase means that workers in 2023 will be worse off, in real terms, than they were in 2022.”

She said that the “latest energy price increases announced in recent weeks means that there is a very real prospect of inflation breaching 10% and heading into double digits this winter”.

“For over six months we’ve called for, at a minimum, an increase of €1 to take the national minimum wage to €11.50 but as prices keep rising what’s needed now is a minimum wage closer to €12.”

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has described the €0.80 increase as inadequate and said its two nominees on the Low Pay Commission opposed the recommendation.

“Given the current cost of living crisis and consequent income pressures on workers, ICTU and its affiliate unions have been calling for a very significant rise in the minimum wage,” ICTU said in a statement.

“The recommended 80c increase fails the test of protecting the living standards of those on the lowest wage and fails the test of setting a sustainable foundation for progressing to a living wage,” ICTU said.

Congress said its nominees on the Low Pay Commission submitted a minority report to provide the Government with an alternative recommendation for the increase in the minimum wage.

Article Source: Headline – Cabinet to approve 80 cent rise to minimum wage –  Mícheál Lehane – RTE

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