The new minimum wage of €11.30 is due to be introduced in January, but union officials wanted it increased to €12 an hour

Two members of the Low Pay Commission opposed her recommendation to raise the national minimum wage to €11.30 an hour because they believed the increase should be higher.

It is understood that Irish Trades Union Congress (Ictu) nominees Fionnuala Ní Bhrógáin and Michael Taft have rejected the proposal, which is due to be approved by Cabinet today.

The nominated workers wrote a minority report which they said would make an “alternative and superior” recommendation to the government.

The minimum wage is currently €10.50 per hour. Sources said they were asking €1.50 more to bring the statutory base wage to €12 an hour.

They claimed that the commission’s recommendation of an 80 cent increase “does not justify the living standards of low-wage workers and threatens the introduction of a living wage”.

However, government sources said the commission’s recommended 80 cent increase would be one of the largest increases in the mandatory minimum wage ever.

The government intends to introduce a living wage to replace the minimum wage by 2026

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is expected to get approval for the recommendation to increase the hourly rate to €11.30 from January 1 next year.

The Low Pay Commission recommended the 80 cent increase in a report earlier this year. It consists of employee and company representatives as well as independent experts.

According to sources, the commission said the national minimum wage alone cannot compensate workers for inflation and recent increases in the cost of living. The minimum wage will increase starting January 1 to coincide with necessary changes to USC and PRSI.

The Commission recommended that additional measures be taken to support low-income earners.

For the first time, the commission said in its report that the national living wage next year should be €13.10, although it is voluntary for employers to offer this.

The government intends to gradually replace the minimum wage with a living wage by 2026, when it becomes mandatory. Mr Varadkar will return to Cabinet next month to sign off on the Living Wage Plan.

When asked to comment on the Ictu nominees’ report, Laura Bambrick, head of social policy, said they “could not, to the best of our knowledge and belief, justify an 80 cent hourly increase in our lowest paid workers”.

She added: “It amounts to a cut in real terms – a 7.6 per cent increase with inflation currently at 8.7 per cent. It will take us further from a living wage than 2021.”

The new tariff is welcomed by thousands of workers, who are paid the minimum wage of €10.50 per hour. However, companies struggling with energy costs will be concerned about the impact of the increase.

An Ibec spokesman could not be reached for comment. The new minimum wage of €11.30 is due to be introduced in January, but union officials wanted it increased to €12 an hour

Fry Electronics Team

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