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Retailers hit by new living wage

Retailers face paying out billions of pounds in extra wages and tax over the next five years after George Osborne introduced a new national living wage and revealed a sharp rise in business rates. Businesses will be hit with an estimated £4bn bill to meet the chancellor's living wage, with the retail and hospitality sectors accounting for two-thirds of workers on the minimum wage. Companies also face a £4.9bn increase in business rates – equivalent to 17.5pc – over the next five years. Britain's supermarkets, which have hundreds of thousands of staff across the country, will be hit particularly hard by the changes. The British Retail Consortium said the Treasury was 'playing pass the parcel around the economy with the financial burden of increasing people's incomes', while the CBI said it was a 'bad idea' to bring politics into the Low Pay Commission, which sets the minimum wage.

 

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