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Tánaiste hints at minimum wage increase due to rising cost of living

Erik G

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has indicated that there will be an increase in the minimum wage in the next year. 

Less than three weeks out from the budget, Varadkar said the rising cost of living needed to be accounted for in both social welfare rates and wages. 

Earlier this month the CSO recorded that 12-month inflation in August 2021 was 2.8%, the highest level in 10 years. 

Currently, the national minimum wage is €10.20 per hour after it increased by €0.10 on 1 January 2021. 

Varadkar was responding to Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice who said that “energy prices have soared” and have put pressure on families.  

“You will say that people will get more in their fuel allowance but I am talking about middle Ireland here, Taoiseach (sic), which is paying more on fuel to bring their kids to school, paying more to go to work and more to heat their homes. Middle Ireland does not get any of those subsidies,” he said. 

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In response, the Tánaiste said that wages and allowances do need to increase in line with inflation

“The point the deputy makes about middle Ireland is absolutely right.  In the budget we are looking at things like an increase in the fuel allowance and increases in pensions and social welfare so that people can keep up with the rise in the cost of living,” Varadkar said. 

“It is not an increase; it is really just indexation, and the same thing applies to our working people too.  That is why we need pay increases and there will be pay increases in most parts of the economy in the coming year, including the public service, as well as an increase in the minimum wage.”

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