The Government should raise the minimum wage to at least €12 per hour, according to SIPTU Services Division Organiser, Teresa Hannick. “The Low Pay Commission’s recommendation of an 80-cent increase to €11.30 per hour fails to take into account the impact of inflation on the living standards of low-paid workers. It will not make up for the real cuts in the minimum wage that workers have suffered last year and this year,” Teresa Hannick said.    “Further, it will undermine the ability to implement the Living Wage.  At the rate of the Commission’s recommendation, it could take up to 10 years before the minimum wage is increased to the level of the Living Wage. This is in sharp contrast to the commitment in the Programme for Government to implement the living wage by 2025. “We have a low-pay crisis. There are 400,000 employees officially categorised as low-paid.  One in every five workers effectively earn below the Living Wage. This is well above the EU average. We need to transition from a low pay business model to a high road one where workers, owners and businesses all benefit.” She added: “Increasing the minimum wage to at least €12 per hour will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers and provide greater protection from rising living costs. It will also be of assistance to domestic businesses that rely on workers’ purchasing power. One of the best ways to avoid a recession is to drive up wage floors since those on low pay spend almost all the additional income they receive. “The Government is not bound by the Low Pay Commission report. The trade union representatives on the Commission dissented from the recommendation. The Government should give serious consideration to increasing the minimum wage to at least €12 per hour next year.”