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Thursday 22 February 2018

Immigration could force review of minimum wage

John Walshe

IRELAND'S minimum wage of €8.65 an hour may have to be "looked at" if immigration rates become excessive, a new report has warned.

At present, the minimum wage is by far and away the highest in Europe when expressed as a percentage of the average industrial and services wage.

The report points out that the Irish rate was 40pc higher than the adjusted average UK rate last year.

The UK and Ireland have been the main destinations for migrants from the 10 new EU member countries. Future migration flows into Ireland will depend on the minimum wage relativities between the two countries.

When the minimum wage rate is being set in the future, it needs to be considered in the context of these relativities and the impact on migrant flows, says the annual FAS Review of Irish Labour Market Trends and Policies.

However, the review adds that account also needs to be taken of the impact of any change on poverty and unemployment.

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