ESRI report confirms minimum wage hikes do not cost jobs

18 April 2018

Labour Party Employment and Social Affairs spokesperson, Senator Ged Nash, has welcomed the publication of ESRI research commissioned by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) which confirms that the 50 cent an hour National Minimum Wage increase introduced by Labour in 2016 did not result in job losses.

Senator Nash said:

“When I first established the statutory Low Pay Commission with a legal function to review and recommend a rate for the National Minimum Wage on an annual basis, employer bodies made wild and exaggerated claims that the 2016 increase to the legal minimum rate of pay from €8.65 an hour in 2015 to €9.15 an hour for the lowest paid workers in Ireland would wreck the economy and cost jobs.

“This important ESRI review rubbishes those claims. All of the available international evidence points to the fact that regular, predictable and incremental increases to the minimum wage would drive more people into work by ensuring that work pays. This is precisely what has happened in Ireland.

“Hikes to the minimum wage have incentivised more people to go to work, leading to a direct rise in the incidence of voluntary part-time work.

“It is also encouraging to see the ESRI assert confirm that there was no negative employment effects as a result of the 2016 increase.

“Now that the myths around the National Minimum Wage have been put to bed it is high time that the government showed some ambition for low paid workers.

“At the very least the Minister for Employment Affairs must make good on the government’s own pledge to deliver a minimum wage of €10.50 an hour over the lifetime of the Dáil.

“Progress towards this Programme for Government objective has been painfully slow and Minister Doherty must set out a roadmap with the LPC as to how the €10.50 target will be achieved.”

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