Reports that the Low Pay Commission plans to recommend a 50c rise in the minimum wage are bad news for the logistics industry and the economy as a whole, according to the Freight Transport Association of Ireland.
FTA Ireland entered a submission to the commission citing the negative impact of a rise on the country’s economy, especially in the warehousing, general freight transport, rural passenger transport, retail and hospitality sectors. But General Manager Neil McDonnell says it appears the Association’s views have been ignored.
He said: “It has been reported that the commission is likely to recommend a 50c rise, which we’re completely against. Ireland has the third highest wage costs in the EU, and the fourth highest minimum wage. An increase would mean only Luxembourg’s was higher.
“We need to tackle unemployment – raising the minimum wage will prevent employers taking on more staff and will have a negative effect on public sector pay claims at a time when the Government is already borrowing to support current spending.”
FTA Ireland’s submission to the commission in April said the priority for Government must be to reduce unemployment, which currently stands at more than 9%, rather than to raise wages.
Neil McDonnell said: “There is no evidence that raising the minimum wage will have a positive effect on employment levels – in fact, the opposite is likely to be true. We would urge the Finance Minister Michael Noonan to resist these irresponsible and unjustifiable calls in his October budget.”