With the increase on October 1st in the National Minimum Wage to £5.05, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has concluded that the October 2006 increase to £5.35 is too risky, in light of the worsening economic climate in the UK.

The BCC is now calling for the £5.35 rate to be reassessed.

BCC Director General David Frost said:

“Paying staff a fair wage is of course essential. However, the large increases seen in previous years have been well above earnings inflation. While businesses can just about tolerate the increase due to start on Saturday, the planned rise for next year to £5.35 is too risky."

“We have seen worsening economic climate and recent job losses in the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector."

”I urge the Government to reassess the planned rates and take action to give our firms the relief they need.”