Britain's Employers have reacted with dismay to the news that the government plans to raise the minimum wage to £5.30 if Labour wins the General Election.
A survey of 1,200 businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that eight out of 10 firms rejected the nine per cent hike.
More than half (53 per cent) either agreed or strongly agreed that further large increases would adversely impact on staffing levels, and a similar proportion believed that further increases would harm their competitiveness.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said British businesses had supported a National Minimum Wage but last year it rose at more than five times the rate of inflation.
"Businesses have endured these massive annual increases in recent years and now is the time for restraint," he said.
"Increases at this rate are simply not sustainable and could have a serious impact on jobs and competitiveness."