February 27 2014.

Responding to Vince Cable’s comments to MPs yesterday, where he revealed that the Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3% increase in the National Minimum Wage from October 2014, Dr Adam Marshall, executive director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Low Pay Commission has to tread a careful balance, recommending changes to the minimum wage that help low-paid employees without undermining employers’ ability to generate jobs and growth.

“As the economy continues to improve, businesses agree that the minimum wage must rise. In recent polling, sixty percent of Chamber members supported an increase in line with current inflation, and fourteen percent favoured an above-inflation increase. After years of pay restraint, companies now feel somewhat more confident when it comes to the question of pay.

“So while the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation appears to be slightly higher than many employers had hoped, it represents a reasonable compromise.

“Following Dr Cable’s comments, we will await the full detail of the Low Pay Commission’s report. Ministers must follow the Low Pay Commission’s carefully-evidenced recommendations, rather than ignore their independent advice and take a purely political decision. And above all, they must work hand-in-hand with business to raise productivity and skills in the workplace – which are the keys to higher wages for all in the future.”