FF welcomes Low Pay Commission’s recommendation on minimum wage

 50 cent increase in line with FF proposal in minimum wage submission 
 Tax code must be simplified so wage increase does not result in PRSI hike
 Businesses compliant with wage increase should receive temporary PRSI reduction

Fianna Fáil has welcomed indications that the Low Pay Commission will today recommend an increase the National Minimum Wage to €9.15.

The party’s Jobs Spokesperson Dara Calleary said the recommendation is broadly in line with Fianna Fáil’s submission to the Low Pay Commission in April, which recommended a 55 cent increase reflective of inflation rates.

Deputy Calleary also called for a simplification of the tax code to ensure that workers don’t end up being worse off due to an anomaly with PRSI.

The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson commented, “Now is the time to increase the minimum wage and bring it back in line with inflation.  In April, Fianna Fáil recommended increasing the national minimum wage by 55 cent (+6.4%) reflective of inflation rates over the last 8 years and growth forecasts. Spread over the course of a year, this increase would equate to over €1,000 in pay for a person on the minimum wage.

“Our primary focus was to improve job security and ensure a decent standard of living for lower paid workers. Fianna Fáil believes that the utmost importance should be given to supporting those on low and middle earnings who are finding it hard to meet their weekly financial commitments.

“Our certainty on this issue is in sharp contrast with the government’s internal wranglings over the national minimum wage. Ministers Noonan and Bruton have come out warning of risks if the rate is increased, while the Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister Ged Nash are on record saying they favour increasing the minimum wage. This is typical of the government attempting to play both sides of the fence in the months leading up to an election.

“I am now calling on the government to make the order as soon as possible to bring forward the recommended increase as proposed today by the LPC without any delay.  I am also calling for the immediate simplification of the tax code so any increase to the minimum wage does not incur a disproportionate PRSI hike for workers. We believe that a partial PRSI refund should be introduced for people earning just above the current level to offset the impact of this anomaly.

“We also believe that as an independent body, the Low Pay Commission should have a role in defining ‘the living wage’. We believe that the introduction of a living wage should only be on a voluntary process, but that the State should implement a living wage for its employees.

“Finally, we believe that businesses compliant with the minimum wage increase should be given a PRSI reduction for a temporary period. Businesses who do not adhere to the new regulations in order to gain competitive advantage should be penalised.”