Business finds minimum wage of £5.30 had to swallow

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said business will strongly reject any government plans for a £5.30 minimum wage.

The minimum wage will rise by 9% to £5.30 if Labour wins the General Election, Tony Blair is expected to announce today.

However, in a survey of 1,200 businesses, the BCC said 80% rejected such a large increase.

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said British businesses had supported a National Minimum Wage but last year it rose at more than five times the rate of inflation. 

“Businesses have endured these massive annual increases in recent years and now is the time for restraint,” he said. “Increases at this rate are simply not sustainable and could have a serious impact on jobs and competitiveness.”

The main findings from the survey include:

  • 80% of businesses wanted a cap on future increases to be introduced
  • 53% either agreed or strongly agreed that further large increases would adversely impact on staffing levels
  • 52% either agreed or strongly agreed that further increases would harm their competitiveness.

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