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Low-paid workers to see wages increased


Minister for Business Ged Nash

Minister for Business Ged Nash

Minister for Business Ged Nash

Low-PAID workers look set for yearly pay increases as the Government has announced details of its Low Pay Commission.

It is being established to advise the Government on the appropriate rate of the minimum wage on an annual basis.

The Government is now calling on the public to apply to become members.

The Commission was a concession won by the Labour Party in the summer talks after Joan Burton became party leader and Tanaiste.

It will be established on a statutory basis.

Junior Minister Ged Nash, making the formal announcement, said he wants to see it progressively increased, but only where the economy provides, and not in a way that stymies job creation.

He would not pre-empt what kind of pay increases are likely, saying it would b e a matter for the commission to decide. The current minimum wage stands at €8.65. It was last increased in 2011 after it was reduced by the late Brian Lenihan.

The commission will have its first meeting in early February before a report would be given to the Government in summer. It would then be a government decision as to what level of pay increase is introduced.

He said the costs and fees paid to members would be in line with those paid to members of the Fiscal Advisory Council.

Members will be paid €11,500 a year with the chairperson getting €20,000. It will be a nine-member body, with an independent chairperson. Mr Nash said the commission would result in "taking politics out of setting the minimum wage".

He said commission reports will be published and fully debated in the Oireachtas.