Friday 17 November 2017

IBEC warning: Minimum wage hike may lead to job losses

Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

Business lobby group IBEC has warned that an increase in the minimum wage may lead to job losses, reduced working hours and could possibly affect job creation.

Representatives from the group are making a presentation to the Oireachtas Jobs Committee today. Speaking ahead of the meeting last night, IBEC's Maeve McElwee said: "There doesn't seem to be any significant evidence base for an increase in the national minimum wage".

IBEC said that while they continue to support the principle of a minimum wage, it is "vital" it remains "appropriate, competitive and affordable".

Ms McElwee said they will tell the Oireachtas Committee that all decisions must take into account labour market conditions, competitiveness, sectoral and regional affordability and cost of living trends.

They expect the unemployment rate to fall below 9pc this year and said "a premature increase" in the minimum wage would "affect those low-skilled workers who are still seeking to return to employment".

SIPTU, the country's largest trade union, last month announced they were seeking pay increases of 5pc for both public and private sector workers.

Irish Independent

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