Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that the ‘living wage’ is a fundamentally flawed concept and is the wrong way to address cost of living pressures. The concept of a 'living wage' does not take any account of a business’s ability to pay.
Ibec Director of Employer Relations Maeve McElwee said: "If an enterprise is to stay in business, it must keep customers; wages must be set against the price that the business can charge those customers for goods and services.
"Housing costs and rent make up much of the calculation of the ‘living wage’ concept. These very high costs are a result of failures of public policy over many years. It is entirely unreasonable to expect individual employers to bear the cost of these.
"With high levels of youth unemployment, we must also take great care not to price young people out of a job. Obliging employers to offer an unrealistic wage for entry-level jobs is yet another barrier to deciding to take on a young person."