Minimum wage to jump 3%?

Retail bodies concerned by Low Pay Commission’s call to raise NMW from £6.50 to £6.70 an hour

THE Low Pay Commission’s call for a 3% rise in the national minimum wage has been slammed as “completely unrealistic” by retail organisations.
The LPC has urged the Coalition government to increase to the current national minimum wage from £6.50 to £6.70 from October 2015.
David Norgrove, chair of the LPC, said it thought sharp increases in the minimum wage would put jobs at risk – not least in small firms.
“We do believe however that the continued recovery, and in particular the impressive growth in employment of the low paid, should this year allow a further increase in the real and relative value of the minimum wage.”
However, John Lee, policy and public affairs manager for the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, commented: “The UK government and the Low Pay Commission have consistently failed to realise that rises in the NMW impact on different industry sectors in a different way.
“Independent convenience store retailers simply cannot absorb these additional costs. A 3% rise is completely unrealistic.”
James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said he was “concerned at the impact” of such a raise. He said: “This will be another challenge for convenience stores, particularly for those trying to take on more staff and grow their business.”
Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Political attention should be focused on supporting those who find themselves stuck in lower paying roles to progress to higher rates of pay.’’