Irish Retailers Concerned Over Proposed Minimum Wage Rise
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, has expressed concern at the proposed €0.30 increase of the national minimum wage.
This increase would bring the minimum wage figure to €9.55 in 2018, representing a cumulative increase of over 10% since January 2016.
“With little to no inflation in consumer goods and growing concern over the impact Brexit is already having on the retail sector, there is absolutely no economic basis for a further increase to minimum wages," said Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland.
"We are extremely disappointed that the Government have welcomed this recommendation of a further increase. Such a rise at this juncture would significantly affect retailers’ ability to remain competitive against a backdrop of falling prices and rising costs within the sector."
Retail Ireland notes that the Irish retail sector is facing many issues at present. Over the past twelve months, performance has been mixed with a 'notable reduction in the pace of retail sales growth' following the Brexit decision.
Continued volatility in sterling has also increased pressure on retailers from competition in Northern Ireland and UK-based online shopping.
"It is very concerning that while retailers continue to cut input costs in order to give consumers the lowest prices possible, Government controlled costs continue to rise," added Burke. "These rising costs are threatening the viability of retail businesses in Ireland, and are in turn jeopardising thousands of jobs in the sector."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.