Employers' groups have welcomed today's announcement that the national minimum wage for those above 22 years of age will rise from £5.52 to £5.73 per hour in October.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said previous above inflation increases had threatened to put a strain on specific sectors, such as hotel and catering, and in certain regions such as the North East and Scotland.
Alan Tyrrell, FSB employment chairman, said: "We are pleased that the Government and the Low Pay Commission have heeded the FSB's past concerns when increases were well above the rate of inflation.
"A sensibly set national minimum wage is in the interests of both employers and employees."
John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, added: "At a time of considerable uncertainty for businesses and with economic growth already slowing, we welcome today's moderate approach."
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By Daniel Thomas
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