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Irish report
by Euro Reporter
2015-09-22 10:35:26
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Lidl not planning to increase wages in Ireland in line with UK rises

Lidl has said it has no plans to introduce the living wage in Ireland, as it has done in England, Scotland and Wales, and said it has no further comment to make on the matter. More than 9,000 staff at the supermarket chain in ireland_400England, Scotland and Wales are to receive a pay rise worth £1,200 a year after the discounter said it was hiking its minimum wages there. Lidl will pay a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales and £9.35 per hour in London from October 1.

But the company said it has no plans to increase wages for its staff in Northen Ireland. In a statement, the company said that Lidl NI, which operates independently of Lidl GB, currently offers "attractive wages for all staff members". It said that these wages are reviewed annually and as such in August, it increased the hourly wage paid to staff, to ensure they were in line with the proposed living wage for Northern Ireland. "Lidl NI continues to monitor all discussions and proposals in relation to the living wage in Northern Ireland and will review and update accordingly when required," the company added. 

Lidl claims it will be the first supermarket in the UK to adopt the higher rate being set by the Living Wage Foundation. The supermarket chain also confirmed it would not be raising prices as a result of the wage increases. But other retailers have warned over the impact of higher staff costs from the UK national living wage, with Next and Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, last week cautioning they may need to raise prices as a result. The national living wage announced by British Chancellor George Osborne in his summer budget will see all workers aged 25 and over paid £7.20 an hour from next April, rising to £9 from 2020.


Ireland will hit renewable targets

Mr White told a conference in Dublin yesterday that we are half way along on the path to meet the target of having 16pc of our energy use from renewable targets by 2020. "We will transform Ireland's energy production and consumption patterns so that, by 2050, our system is largely decarbonised. Our first target is to meet 16pc of our energy use from renewables by 2020," he said.

"We are currently at around 8pc and steadily on the rise. I am confident that, with effort and vigilance, we will meet this commitment." Mr White's confidence was backed up by the European Commission's vice president for energy union, Maros Sefcovic, who said he had trust in the Government when it claimed it would meet the targets.

"We are monitoring the process and we are in frequent discussions. I believe that Ireland will hit the targets," Mr Sefcovic told the Irish Independent. "We will see what will happen as we get much closer to the deadline. We have quite some time to go and if the Government has a policy in place which is clearly indicating that the targets would be hit so we trust the Government."


Gerry Adams predicts non-traditional united Ireland

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said a united Ireland will emerge in future but it “may not be the one traditionally envisaged over the years”. He said there would be Orange Order parades in a united Ireland. “We need to be able to consider transitional arrangements which could mean continued devolution to Belfast within an all-island structure,” he said. Speaking at the launch of a Sinn Féin book, ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’, in Dublin’s Mansion House, Mr Adams spoke about being “beaten stupid” and “spread-eagled for hours” after being arrested in the past. He said he was systematically beaten across the kidneys and back, before he collapsed and went unconscious. Years later a man approached him at Stormont, saying: “I used to be a British soldier and I battered you when you were arrested, and I’m sorry.”

Mr Adams replied: “Do you promise not to do it again?” He added: “He went away happy and I went away thinking I was a great guy.” Also speaking at the launch, British ambassador Dominick Chilcott has said there will be more efforts by the British royal family and the wider British establishment to secure the peace process. He said the road to a better future in Northern Ireland did not involve “trying to convert unionists into republicans or vice versa. The grave developments in Northern Irish politics in recent weeks are a reminder that the road to normalisation there remains a long and windy one, with plenty of bumps,” he said. “I am sure we all hope that talks will soon begin between the parties represented in Stormont to resolve the immediate crisis and enable the institutions to function as they are intended to do.

He said Prince Charles’ visit to the west of Ireland in May included a number of “highly significant” gestures of reconciliation. “Prince Charles’ words and actions are not, I’m confident, the end of the efforts by the Royal Family and the British establishment more widely to secure the peace process and promote reconciliation in these islands.” Mr Chilcott said Sinn Fein’s national chairman Declan Kearney was correct when he wrote in the book that the Irish and British governments and republicans and unionists were not bystanders to the conflict in the North. “He is right. We must all rise to the challenge,” Mr Chilcott said. The “great collective task” for political leaders and administrations was to overcome the legacy of the past and to build together a better future for everyone. “The road to this better future begins with giving the other side a fair hearing. This is not about trying to convert unionists into republicans or vice versa,” he said. “But it is about restoring the humanity of the other side; developing, as it were, a sense of empathy with them.”


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