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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019
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30 cent minimum wage increase deferred due to threat of no-deal Brexit

The increase was set to take the minimum wage past the €10 mark for the first time.

Image: LEAH FARRELL

THE INTRODUCTION OF a 30 cent increase to the minimum wage has been deferred due to the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

The hike, which was recommended by the Low Pay Commission, was set to bring the national minimum wage for adults up to €10.10 per hour, moving it past the €10 mark for the first time.

The commission’s recommendation was accepted by the government today, however the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, said it was made on the basis of an orderly Brexit, so the wage will remain at €9.80 per hour until there is “greater clarity” on Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“The Government has decided that a decision on when the Commission’s recommendation will commence will be made when the outcome of the Brexit negotiations becomes clearer,” Minister Doherty said.

In recent years the commission’s recommendations on the wage have generally been accepted by the Government in the Autumn and come into effect the following January.

The 30 cent increase would still have left the wage significantly below €12.30 per hour, which a report from the Living Wage Technical Group deemed to be the living wage in Ireland.

The General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Patricia King, blasted the “reprehensible” deferral of the wage increase this evening.

“It effectively means that Government has decided to penalise the 130,000 or so lowest-paid workers in the state,” King said.

“Brexit, and particularly a no-deal Brexit, will have varying impacts on different sectors of the economy. Some sectors will be more negatively affected than others, and equally some sectors will be much less affected than others.

“However, deferring the recommended 30c increase would mean that all workers on the National Minimum Wage will end up paying the price of Brexit,” she added.

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Ceimin Burke

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