CSNA urges greater supports needed for retailers to survive increased costs
An "effective support package as promised" is needed for community-based community-based retail to survive greater costs, says CSNA
2 November 2023
The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) is asking independent retailers to contact their TDs and local senators to tell them the impact that NMW wage increases will have on their businesses.
“The promises made by this government that they would give substantial support to businesses affected by increases (particularly increases that were because of government decisions) were seen to be far short of what our sector needs to remain vibrant and competitive,” the CSNA stated.
“The €1.40 (12.4%) increase in the NMW is more than double the rate of wage increases attained across the State, and significantly greater than cost-of-living inflation measurements.
“While most of your employees earn in excess of the minimum wage, it is understandable that they will be seeking to maintain similar differentials as currently prevail, leading to worryingly high levels of overall wage increases next year.”
“We need to come clean and dispel the notion that we run “goldmines” with a licence to print money – we need to prove that these increases, projected to be €4.50 per hour extra over the 2022-2026 period will decimate the business we have worked tirelessly to develop over decades, giving employment (including first experience) to countless numbers of local workers,” the CSNA added.
The association also pointed out that the increase in the hourly rate is not the sole increase to retailers’ costs – there is a public holiday in February, businesses are becoming liable for an additional two Sick Leave days and it is likely that Auto-Enrolment for Pensions will be brought in towards the end of next year, costing an additional 1.5% of the employee’s wage.
The rates rebate announcement is only for 2024 and is not designed to help those with extra labour costs, with the CSNA adding that “in fact it will not give any assistance to many ratepayers”.
CSNA is advocating that these additional costs should be given relief through the elimination of the low-rate PRSI for the three year period of 2024-2026.
The association is asking retailers to speak with (much better than writing to) your TD and local Senators and show them:
· What you earned last year and previous years
· How many staff you employ
· Your current and projected costs for 2024 with a 12.4% increase plus the previously-outlined extra costs coming in.
“The projected increase per hour for 2025 is due to be €1 and the Sick Pay moves from five days to seven while the Living Wage will be introduced at a projected €15 in 2026 which will require a €1.30 increase and the Sick Pay will have gone from seven days to 10 days.
“You need to meet your FF/FG public representative and tell them unequivocally that the future of community-based retail is at stake, and that we need an effective support package as promised,” the CSNA said.