Business West shows concern over politicians trying to set private sector wage levels

By Anita Jaynes on 17 January, 2014

In George Osbourne’s economic speech yesterday,  he called for a significant rise in minimum wage to compensate low-income workers for the economic crisis. Pushing up wages will “make sure that we have a recovery for all and that work pays” said the Chancellor.

One of the South West’s most influential leadership organisations Business West has shown concern over politicians trying to set private sector wage levels.

Commenting on George Osborne’s speech, Ian Larrard. Director of the Initiative in Swindon & Wiltshire, part of Business West said:  “We recognise both the everyday challenges for those on the lowest wages and the business challenge to recruit and retain the best people. It is for both these reasons that Business West encourages our 16,000 members to consider the Living Wage concept as a part of a sustainable business strategy.

However, despite early economic recovery signs, we also appreciate the tough trading conditions and margin pressures still faced by many companies, particularly on the High Street, and any obligatory increases in the minimum wage may well have other consequences.

Business West is concerned by politicians trying to set private sector wage levels. The low pay commission has been set up to objectively evaluate the minimum wage and we should leave it to them.”