Low Pay Commission to be chaired by former banker

Donal de Buitléir heads new eight-member body advising on national minimum wage

Dr Donal de Buitléir: chair of the new Low Pay Commission which will advise the Government on the rate of the national minimum wage. File photograph: Paddy Whelan

Dr Donal de Buitléir: chair of the new Low Pay Commission which will advise the Government on the rate of the national minimum wage. File photograph: Paddy Whelan

 

Former banker and HSE Board member Dr Donal de Buitléir has been made chair of the Government’s new Low Pay Commission.

The commission will advise the Government annually on the rate of the national minimum wage and the first report is expected this summer.

Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash announced the appointment of eight members of the new body.

They are: Vincent Jennings, CEO of Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association; Patricia King, vice president of Siptu and incoming general secretary of Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Gerry Light, assistant general secretary of Mandate trade union; Caroline McEnery, director of HR Suite, HR & Business Solutions; Edel McGinley, director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland; Mary Mosse, lecturer in economics and programme director for postgraduate research at School of Business, WIT; Tom Noonan, chief executive of The Maxol Group and former president of IBEC (2008-2010); and Prof Donal O’Neill of the department of economics, NUI Maynooth.

Dr de Buitléir was a board member of the HSE between 2005 and 2009. Previously he worked at the AIB Group and for the Revenue Commissioners.

He was secretary to the Commission on Taxation from 1980-85 and involved in a number of Government reviews in the areas of local-government reform, integration of tax and welfare, business regulation, health funding and higher education. He is director of Publicpolicy.ie.

Mr Nash said the commissioners would “carry out the important task of examining data and consulting directly with workers and employers in order to advise the Government on what the appropriate rate [of the national minimum wage] should be”.

“Work should always pay but I don’t underestimate the difficult task that they will have; balancing the needs of workers who are paid the least in our society and those of employers”, saying that he wanted them “to sustain and grow their businesses and continue to create jobs.”

The new Low Pay Commission will meet for the first time within a fortnight and examine issues such as changes in earnings since the minimum wage was last increased in 2011, unemployment and employment rates generally, expected impact of a change to the minimum wage on employment, the cost of living and national competitiveness , changes in income distribution and currency exchange rates.

The national minimum wage is €8.65 and members of the Government have signalled they believe it will be increased.