Monday 20 February 2017

Our troubled economy is a long way from awarding pay rises

Published 28/08/2014 | 02:30

Ged Nash
Ged Nash

IT is strange to be hearing calls for populist pay rises ('Time for wage rises to spur economy - Labour minister', Irish Independent, August 27) when we are still borrowing €6bn this year to balance our current account.

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We are insolvent, but for some the answer is to give ourselves a pay rise - how wise is that? The Irish domestic economy is in intensive care. Retail turnover is down by one third since 2006, with many business closures continuing as a result. To recover that 33pc lost, it will take many years, perhaps 10 years at 3pc growth per annum. Then, and only then, can we even consider paying ourselves more.

This Government has already increased the national minimum wage. The National Competitiveness Council says that was an error, and today we continue to erode the nation's competitiveness position with errant abandon.

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