Low Pay Commission Bill passes all stages in Oireachtas
Published 15/07/2015 | 02:30
The Low Pay Commission Bill has passed all stages in the Houses of the Oireachtas and is now being sent to President Michael D Higgins for his signature.
The legislation establishes the Low Pay Commission, which is expected to present its first report to Employment Minister Ged Nash next week.
The Commission was set up earlier this year to examine the current national minimum wage of €8.65 and whether it should be increased.
Mr Nash said the passing of the Bill represents a major institutional reform which will see the issue of low pay "being tackled in a sustained, structured and informed way."
"For the first time, the setting of recommended rate of the national minimum wage will be done independently and on an evidence-based approach," Mr Nash said.
"The historic legislation passed today underpins the work of the Low Pay Commission and will see it review the minimum wage on a yearly basis from now on, and examine other matters related to low pay."
The legislation passed the parliamentary hurdle as think-tank Tasc published the results of a survey showing that 77pc of people believe the minimum wage should be set at €11.50 per hour, effectively a so-called living wage. And 86pc agree that the minimum wage should be increased - up from 84pc last year and 65pc in 2010.
Cormac Staunton, Tasc policy analyst, said there is strong public support for increasing the minimum wage.
"It's also clear from the poll that there is overwhelming public support for raising the minimum wage and indeed setting it at a Living Wage level, which has recently been calculated as €11.50 per hour.
"This should certainly assist the Government in acting decisively on the report of the Low Pay Commission when it emerges in the coming weeks."
The survey by Tasc also found the majority of people believe the Government should invest in public services rather than cutting taxes.