Sunday 20 August 2017

A 'modest proposal' which can do good

The recent recessionary years - what our Finance Minister poetically called
The recent recessionary years - what our Finance Minister poetically called "Ireland's lost decade" - have been difficult for everyone (Stock image)

With due apologies to the late, great Jonathan Swift, we can record the plan to add 50 cent to the minimum wage as "a modest proposal". We expect the anxieties of small business about it can be addressed.

The Low Pay Commission, established at the behest of Labour in government, has produced a detailed and evidence-based report which has looked at many aspects of the issue. We must note that, even in these times of low inflation, the minimum wage has stayed at €8.65 per hour for the past eight years.

There was one brief foray in late 2010 and early 2011 when it was actually reduced by the previous recession-stricken government. The Fine Gael-Labour coalition in spring 2011 reversed that cut and kept faith with voters on one important election promise at least.

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