Minimum wage claims incorrect
Government ministers justified the planned 12pc minimum wage cut by stating that it would be the "second highest" in Europe. Yet, this claim is wrong and misleading.
First, in 2009, the statutory minimum wages per hour in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and the UK all exceeded the Irish rate if compared on the basis of the Eurostat Purchasing Power Standard. Second, it should also be noted that there aren't any statutory national minimum wages in many European countries, such as Switzerland, Sweden and Germany. This, however, does by no means mean that the collectively agreed minimum wage levels in these countries are lower than the minimum wage rate in Ireland.
Dr Roland Erne, Lecturer in Comparative and International Employment Relations
UCD, Dublin 4