Minimum wage set to increase to about €10.10 per hour 

Low Pay Commission recommends rise of ‘about 30 cent per hour’ for adults 
 
The national minimum wage is likely to be increased to about €10.10 per hour for adult workers from next year. 
It is understood that the Low Pay Commission has recommended the minimum wage level should rise by about 30 cent per hour for adults. 
 
Any increase in the national minimum wage on foot of the new recommendation could benefit up to 120,000 workers. 
 
The current national minimum wage stands at €9.80 per hour for adult workers. 
 
Last week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the biennial conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) in Dublin that the national minimum wage was likely to exceed what he described as the “psychological barrier” of €10 per hour next year. 
 
A 30 cent rise in the national minimum wage would be slightly more than the 25 cent increase which was recommended by the Low Pay Commission last year and subsequently endorsed by the Government. 
 
The Low Pay Commission was established by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition in 2015 to advise ministers on the appropriate rate for the national minimum wage. 
 
It comprises an independent chairman appointed by the Government as well as representatives of unions, employers and campaign groups who came through a public appointment process. 
 
Generally, the Low Pay Commission makes its recommendation about the national minimum wage level to the Cabinet in July of each year. 
 
The Government then considers the proposal and announces its decision in the Budget in October. 
 
Increases in the national minimum wage generally come into effect in January. 
 
The Low Pay Commission is expected to present its proposals for increases in the national minimum wage to Minister for Social Protection and Employment Affairs Regina Doherty this week. 
 
Living wage 
Increases in the national minimum wage over recent years have generally been welcomed by trade unions, but employers’ representatives have tended to be more critical. 
 
The national minimum wage is different to the living wage, which is the amount which social campaigners argue is the level of earnings required to provide an acceptable standard of living. 
 
Last week, a report produced by the Living Wage Technical Group deemed the living wage in Ireland to be €12.30 per hour. 
 
The group said the ongoing increase in rents once again pushed up living costs over the last year. 
 
It said the overall cost of a socially acceptable minimum standard of living increased by an average of 2.3 per cent for a single full-time worker without dependents over the past year. 
 
Mr Varadkar told the Dáil last week that the national minimum wage in Ireland was now the second highest in the European Union, adding that the country is “far” from being behind the curve. 
 
Separately on Wednesday the trade union Siptu said it would be demanding that a living wage be paid to all early years educators as part of the union’s pre-budget submission. 
 
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