Proposed Minimum Wage Increases

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has today said that any increase in the national minimum wage would have a negative impact on jobs in the trade.

The VFI was responding to reports that the Low Pay Commission will recommend an increase to the national minimum wage of 50c to €9.15 an hour.  The VFI represents 4,000 pubs outside Dublin.

The VFI pointed out that while many pubs have started to recover, the recovery isn’t universal and hasn’t yet spread nationwide and rural pubs in particular would struggle if the minimum wage was increased.

Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive, Vintners’ Federation of Ireland said; “We see the timing of such an increase of almost 6% as being very premature. Government needs to look at other ways to ensure consumers have more money in their pocket through reducing current tax rates or Universal Social Charge rates.

Any increase in this area will have knock on effects with higher paid employees as it will lead to demands for continuation of pay differentials. Such an increase will inevitably lead to either job losses or a reduction in hours. Neither are compatible with getting the economy moving again. Any increase in labour costs would have to be addressed by Government by a reduction in Employers PRSI.

“The economy is in recovery mode but that is not an even recovery. A move, such as the one suggested, could have detrimental effects on many small and medium sized businesses that are continuing to experience challenging times.

 “Publicans are continuing to fight hard to grow their businesses and have adapted to the difficult times they have faced. An increase in the minimum wage now though would be a backward step and it is too soon for such a measure when other options are available to Government.”

Notes to Editors:
The VFI was established in 1973 from smaller associations for the protection and betterment of the livelihood of the individual publican.
The VFI has approximately 4,200 members and is a firmly established strong national trade organisation.

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