New minimum wage of €11.30 set to be introduced in January, but union officials wanted it increased to €12 per hour

Last week the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, in its pre-Budget Submission, restated the view of the trade union movement that the minimum wage should be raised to the living wage.

The value of the national minimum wage has been falling since 2016. In 2016, the minimum wage equalled 57 percent of the median wage. Since then, it has fallen to nearly 50 percent. The decision by Government to increase the minimum wage by 80c will only increase this marginally – by approximately 1 percent relative to the median wage. To reach the Living Wage we will need to increase the minimum wage to 66 percent of the median wage.

At the rate of the current increase, it could take up to 10 years before the minimum wage reaches the level of the Living Wage. This is in sharp contrast to the commitment in the Programme for Government to implement the living wage by 2025.

The 80c increase amounts to a cut in real terms, representing a 7.6 per cent increase with inflation running at approximately 8.7 per cent.

The trade union representatives on the Commission dissented from the recommendation.

Please find below link of a  recent article published in the Irish Independent in relation to this.