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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland Joan Burton chats to President of SIPTU Jack O'Connor.

'We should not fear increases in the minimum wage.' - Joan Burton links recovery with wages

The Minister for Social Protection was speaking at a leadership debate with rival Alex White.

LABOUR LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE Joan Burton said today she wants a “low pay commission” set up to advise the Government about minimum wage.

Speaking at a leadership debate with rival Alex White TD, Burton said that she “strongly believes that a wage-led recovery is critical”, arguing that “we should not fear the employment consequences of increases in the minimum wage”.

The UK has Fair Work Commission which recently awarded a 3% increase in the minimum wage and the Minister for Social Protection says that she would like to see a similar independent body in operation in Ireland.

“The commission would report annually to Government, making evidence-based recommendations on the appropriate level for the minimum wage,” she said, adding that unions and employers would be included in the membership of the commission.

Burton also said that being in Government remains the best way of pursuing the goals of the Labour movement.

Burton said that, “whatever the difficulties”, being in Government remains the best way to ensure the delivery of social democratic ideals.



The hustings took place at the offices of the Communications Workers’ Union in Dublin with Burton also saying that a comprehensive Government response to the pension crisis must also be put in place.

“Given its complexities, a comprehensive Government response in this area must be developed in phases.”

She explained that these phases would firstly be a white paper with costed proposals and a second phase that looked at how the proposals would be introduced.

“There are complex issues be explored and at this stage nothing can or has been ruled in or out,” she said.

Read: Over to you: What do you want to ask Joan Burton and Alex White? >

Read: Joan Burton says the banking inquiry vote is good news for women in politics >

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