Commenting, the Ireland Secretary of Unite, Jimmy Kelly, said:
“It is almost unprecedented for one Government department to make a policy submission to a commission established by another department, and one can only assume that this submission has more to do with political rivalry between Fine Gael and Labour than with evidence-based policymaking.
“The Department’s submission not only rejects the arguments for increasing the Minimum Wage – astonishingly, at a time when 20 per cent of the workforce suffers from deprivation, it argues that in some cases the Minimum Wage should be reduced.
“The Department’s submission ignores the fact that, in comparison with our peers, Ireland is a low-wage, high-profit economy.
“Competitiveness cannot be built on low wages: it must be built on the basis of a strong indigenous sector, product development, world-class marketing and R&D.
“An economic recovery based on poverty pay will be neither sustainable nor equitable.
“In our own submission to the Low Pay Commission, Unite has advocated increasing the Minimum Wage by €1 per hour as part of a strategy aimed at a achieving a sustainable, wage-led recovery.
“The Department’s submission is politically mischievous and economically misleading”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.