The Institute of Employment Rights (IER) has warned against any freeze in the minimum wage, claiming that such a move would be both economically and morally unjustifiable.
IER director Carolyn Jones explained that failing to increase the minimum wage – which currently stands at £5.93 an hour for over-21s – in line with inflation would deter some workers from spending their money at Britain's retail outlets.
"Shopkeepers should know better than most – more money in pay packets and pockets means more sales," she said. "Shopkeepers should be urging the government to think again about the VAT increases due in January."
Ms Jones called for "stimulation, not strangulation" and suggested that impeding the spending power of low-paid employees is likely to have negative implications for those further up the wage ladder.
Her comments came after Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman claimed that smaller retailers are being held back by the financial burden posed by minimum wage hikes.
Posted by Ross George