36 economists, economic analysts and social scientists express concern at proposals which would reduce pay of low earners and further shrink demand

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Amendments to wage-setting mechanisms must protect aggregate demand

The following statement has been issued by members of the TASC Economists’ Network, comprising economists, economic analysts and social scientists:

“We broadly welcome the Report of the Independent Review of Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreement Wage-Setting Mechanisms. In particular, the recommendation that the basic JLC framework should be retained is good news for many thousands of low-paid workers. We also endorse the conclusion reached by Kevin Duffy and Frank Walsh that reducing JLC rates to the minimum wage level would have important distributional consequences without having any substantial effect on employment.

“We are concerned that recent proposals reportedly made by Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton are not in line with the Duffy-Walsh report. The evidence presented in the report should not be ignored.  Minister Bruton’s proposals, if implemented, would reduce the pay of low earners. These workers by necessity spend a higher proportion of their income on consumption, and consequently cutting their wages will significantly reduce spending in the economy at a time when the savings rate is already very high and domestic demand has collapsed. Any amendments to wage-setting mechanisms should ensure that the incomes of vulnerable low earners are fully protected, and that demand in the economy is not further impaired”, the statement concludes.

The statement is issued in the name of the following 36 members of the TASC Economists’ Network:

Dr John Barry, Director, Centre for Sustainability and Environmental Research, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Brendan Bartley, Research Associate, National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, NUI Maynooth
Michael Burke, Economic Consultant (London)
Rosheen Callender, Economist
Peter Connell, member, TASC Economists’ Network
Dr Peter Doran, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast
Prof PJ Drudy, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Trinity College Dublin
Victor Duggan, Economist
Dr Roland Erne, Lecturer, School of Business, University College Dublin
Dr Mary Gilmartin, Lecturer in Geography, NUI Maynooth
Prof Gerard Hughes, Visiting Professor, School of Business, Trinity College Dublin
Prof David Jacobson, Professor of Economics, Dublin City University
Dr Stephen Kinsella, Lecturer in Economics, University of Limerick
Prof Peadar Kirby, Director, Institute for the Study of Knowledge in Society, University of Limerick
Prof Rob Kitchin, Director, National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, NUI Maynooth
Tom McDonnell, Economist and Policy Analyst, TASC
Prof Terrence McDonough, Department of Economics, NUI Galway
Loraine Mulligan, Social Policy Analyst, SIPTU
Dr Mary Murphy, Lecturer in Irish Politics and Society, NUI Maynooth
Dr Aoife Ní Lochlainn, Policy Analyst, TASC
Prof Cormac O Grada, School of Economics, University College Dublin
Prof Seán Ó Riain, Head, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth
Dr Tom O’Connor, Lecturer in economics and social policy, Cork Institute of Technology
Dr Colm O’Doherty, Lecturer in Applied Social Studies, IT Tralee
Dr Rory O’Farrell, Researcher, European Trade Union Institute (Brussels)
Dr Eoin O’Malley, Economist
Manus O’Riordain, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
Ms Sinéad Pentony, Head of Policy, TASC
Dr Michelle O’Sullivan, Lecturer in Industrial Relations, University of Limerick
Marie Sherlock, Economist, SIPTU
Dr Jim Stewart, Senior Lecturer in Finance, School of Business, Trinity College Dublin
Paul Sweeney, Chair, TASC Economists’ Network; Chief Economist, ICTU
Michael Taft, Research Officer, Unite
Prof Paul Teague, School of Management and Economics, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Joe Wallace, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations, University of Limerick
Prof James Wickham, Head of School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin