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Pay hike criticised

One of Fine Gael's most prominent new general election candidates has sharply criticised the proposed hike in the minimum wage, saying it will make Ireland a less attractive place to do business.

Dublin City Councillor Kate O'Connell (right), who is standing for Fine Gael in Dubin Bay South, said that the planned raise is flawed, and called instead for a reduction in the universal social charge.

The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the minimum wage be increased from €8.55 per hour to €9.15. The recommendation is due to be dealt with in October's Budget.