Minimum wage rise will add to pressures on retail sector

Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today expressed disappointment at the recommendation by the Low Pay Commission to further increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW), following a 6% rise at the start of this year. Any further increase will only increase pressure on Irish retailers at a time of great uncertainty.

Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “There is absolutely no economic basis for a further minimum wage increase, following the 6% increase earlier this year. Any additional rise will put further pressure on thousands of retail businesses that are already grappling with intense competitive pressures and a rising cost base.

"The UK vote to leave the EU has led to a major sterling devaluation and raised the spectre of a return to cross border shopping. To further increase input costs for Irish retailers at this time will reduce our ability to compete with shops north of the boarder. The minimum wage is already 6% higher than in the UK and this gap will widen if sterling falls further, as is predicted."