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14th May 2018


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Welcome to the

We had some good news in the UK this week when official labour market figures released by the Office for National Statistics, revealed that fewer people are out of work. The experts are telling us not to get too excited though, warning that unemployment is likely to rise again later in the year.

The British retail consortium is concerned that consumer spending is down too. While this is not good for those needing us to spend our money, it has helped bring down inflation and thus reduced the likelihood that interest rates will soon start to rise, as some had feared. I am so glad that we are still able to set our own interest rates here and were not forced to increase them recently alongside our European partners who belong to the Eurozone.

I feel very badly for those over in Ireland who were already suffering badly, having received special help from the EU and now needing to pay it back with the economy in the state that it is - and with 1,031 jobs lost, on average, each week in 2011.

I do hope that the Irish Small Firms Association managed to persuade the Irish Government in Wednesday's meeting, not to add to the country's woes by ignoring what I feel is an excellent argument for retaining the national minimum wage rate at €7.65 per hour in an attempt to regain competitiveness.

The fact that current employees are protected on the old rate of €8.65 under contract law, so no existing employee would experience a 'cut' in pay, is important, as is the SFA's argument that the new lower rate would only affect new employees, who can decide for themselves whether they want to work for this rate, rather than have the State block them from working in order to retain "an absurd notion" of what a job is worth.

More of this story in this week's news...



Jan Hobbs


15th April 2011

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