Thursday, 13 December 2018
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
As the Deputy will know, because he was involved in some of the decisions, over the past seven years there have been four minimum wage increases. We continue to look to the future in terms of further increases.
We now have a pay commission that makes recommendations independently with unions and employers giving input into that process. When we get recommendations for increases in the minimum wage, we implement them. That has been the record of this Government and we will continue to do that.
We have tried to ensure that when the Low Pay Commission makes recommendations, it takes into account all the issues the Deputy has raised on the floor of the House today and other inputs. It makes recommendations to Government and we have implemented those recommendations. The important thing is that the country continues to be as generous as it can be as we move away from the recession we experienced a number of years ago. As the economy grows and expands and as we approach full employment again, of course, people have an expectation that their quality of life will improve on the back of that. We need to ensure we do not get into a boom-bust cycle again by making commitments that put the country under significant financial pressure. Getting that balance right is important, as Deputy Howlin, of all Deputies will understand.