BCC calls for National Living Wage rise to help balance inflationary pressures

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called for a rise in the National Living Wage (NLW) to help balance inflationary pressures for low paid workers.

Responding to a call made by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) for comments in regards to minimum wage levels, the BCC recommended a 2.7% increase in the NLW rate, to ‘compensate for the rise in inflation’.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation currently stands at 2.9% – its highest level in almost four years.

However, the BCC also stated that many businesses are ‘struggling to absorb the rising cost of employment’, citing pressures from existing policies, such as the Apprenticeship Levy and pensions auto-enrolment. The business group said that any amendment to the NLW rate should be ‘cautious’, in order to prevent further wage bill increases.    

Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at the BCC, said: ‘The BCC has recommended an increase in the NLW to help low paid workers manage inflationary pressures which are eroding their spending power.

‘Setting the NLW must be done cautiously, comprehensively taking into account economic circumstances so that people are not priced out of jobs.’