Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Niall Collins TD says that the suggested increase of 10 cent to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) published in today’s Low Pay Commission report will bring little respite to cost of living pressures on low pay workers.
“It is incumbent on the government and Minister Noonan to ensure that any increase to the NMW introduced at budget time is in line with general pay increases across the economy this year, which would necessitate a higher adjustment.
“Indirect taxes, charges, high rents, as well as spiralling childcare costs are factors which must be considered to increase earnings for those on low pay and who struggle to meet weekly financial commitments.
“People on the minimum wage must also be afforded the opportunity to transition away from this wage level. Training and upskilling are vital tools to enable people to progress up the career ladder and to not be stuck on the minimum wage for a sustained period.
“We also support simplifying the tax code so any increase to the NMW does not incur a disproportionate PRSI hike for an employee, as arose last year.
“Any adjustment to the NMW must position employers to be able to absorb increases more easily in a way that supports employment, while not hampering competitiveness. We also believe that businesses compliant with NMW increases should be given a temporary PRSI reduction.
“It is vital that government take on board the recommendations from the recent National Competitiveness Council report ‘Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2016’ in order to cut business costs across energy, waste, and professional services to improve Ireland’s competitiveness ranking.
“Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all members of the Low Pay Commission for their work in producing its second annual report,” he added.