SGF has criticised the announcement by the Chancellor during yesterday’s Budget speech, that he will introduce a new compulsory National Living Wage, which will reach £9 per hour by 2020. All workers aged 25 and above will be paid the National Living Wage, which will be levied by introducing a new premium on top of the current National Minimum Wage. From April 2016 the new National Living Wage will be set at £7.20 per hour.
With over 5,500 stores in Scotland, the industry contributes around £3.2b to the nation’s economy and employs 41,000 in the sector. This will place a huge tremendous burden on these retailers and may lead to a number of stores closing.
Addressing the chart below, SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema said, “This clearly shows that what the Chancellor has actually done is shift the burden of payment from the Government to the Employer. The introduction of the National Living Wage is a reckless policy, which could have a disastrous effect on the retail industry, especially in times of austerity.”