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Thursday 14 December 2017

Review warns against cuts in wages of 250,000 staff

Anne-Marie Walsh

THE basic pay of over 250,000 workers should not be slashed to the new €8.65-an-hour national minimum wage rate, an independent review group has warned the Government.

The review of legally binding wages and conditions that apply in individual sectors, including retail, hotels and construction, has found that cutting these rates would not create jobs.

It says minimum rates that apply in large sectors of the economy and are higher than the separate national minimum wage should not be reduced to this level.

But Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton hinted last night that he believed the wage rates were too high -- despite the review's findings.

Although the review did not recommend cuts, he emphasised that there was an "urgent" need for reform because rates were up to 30pc above the UK.

The Government will consider the review's findings over the next few weeks as it makes a decision on whether to reform or axe the sectoral wage-setting system by July 1.

A review of the wage deals, known as Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements, was agreed with the IMF and EU in the €85bn bailout deal.

It was conducted by the chairman of the Labour Court, Kevin Duffy, and UCD economist Dr Frank Walsh.

Its findings were published yesterday.

Irish Independent

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