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Sinn Féin questions role of the Low Pay Commission – Quinlivan

19 July, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has said a recommendation that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) be increased by 10 cents is disgraceful.

Speaking in response to a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission in a report which was published this morning, Deputy Quinlivan said:

“The Commission’s recommendation to raise the minimum wage by 10 cents is nothing short of disgraceful. 

“Key sectors of the economy where low pay and precarious work are widespread such as the retail and the hospitality sectors are experiencing unprecedented economic growth.

“If one accounts for inflation, which is between 1.7 and 2.2 percent, the proposed 10c increase would mean workers on the minimum wage will suffer a pay cut.

“It is striking that the Commission’s trade union representatives felt it necessary to issue a minority report, as did the Migrant Rights Centre where they are critical of the report’s recommendations.

“They note the Commission’s failure to apply parity of esteem to the competing interests of workers and business and said the persistence of this approach would be a serious challenge for the work of the Commission going forward.

 “This latest report and the government’s announcement in the Summer Economic Statement that it plans to increase the NMW to €10.50 over a five year period raises serious questions about the usefulness of the Low Pay Commission, about which I have always had serious reservations.

“Issues of low pay, in-work poverty and labour market inequality belong in the political arena. They have societal wide consequences that are far too important to be relegated to a Commission comprised of twelve people that meets every so often.” 

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