A trade body has today claimed that hikes in the national minimum wage planned to counteract the scrapped 10p tax rate would be damaging to the industry and lead to numerous closures.
The chancellor Alastair Darling requested the Low Pay Commission considers reviewing the NMW to compensate the younger workers who would be hit buy the income tax changes.
The Association of Multiple Licensed Retailers said that it would be a short term fix.
ALMR chief executive, Nick Bish, said: “The minimum wage regime for next year was set only last month, with the Government accepting the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations. It would be ridiculous for this ‘done deal’ to be reviewed so soon - and for political, rather than economic, reasons.
“The government is already hitting Britain’s pubs and bars with higher taxes, plus extra rules and regulations - with disastrous results. Pubs are already closing at a record rate. An extra minimum wage rise would maximise the number of pubs going out of business.
“Drinks duties have already been hiked to help fund the government’s budget deficit. We shouldn’t have to bail it out, through an extra minimum wage rise, over the 10p tax rate as well.”