Wage war looms as businesses fight rises
A 'wage war' is in the offing as small businesses vow to fight plans to increase the minimum wage to €9.15 per hour.
Vintners, hoteliers and retailers are unhappy with proposals that they should boost pay just as they are starting to recover from the recession.
They argue that raising the minimum wage by 50 cent will increase expectations among higher-paid staff, who will seek to maintain a fair differential.
As he launched the Low Pay Commission's report, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Irish Independent that any efforts to help the low-paid would be accompanied by tax changes.
Conall Mac Coille, an economist with Davy Stockbrokers, said the timing for the pay increases "is odd". He added: "Small and medium enterprises will be paying the minimum wage, having only just come off life support and while still desperately paying down Celtic Tiger-era bank debts."