Living wage will threaten future of pubs says Wetherspoon boss

Living wage will threaten future of pubs says Wetherspoon boss

A national living wage will unfairly effect pubs, threatening their future.

That’s according to the Founder and Chairman of JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, who claims that George Osborne’s announcement of a living wage would widen the “financial disparity between pubs and supermarkets”.

“The recent government announcement regarding the ‘living wage’ adds considerable uncertainty to future financial projections in the pub industry.

“The average price of a pint in a supermarket is less than £1 and we estimate staff costs to be around 10% or 10p. In contrast, a pint in a pub costs around £3 and staff costs are about 25% or 75p.

“Increased labour costs therefore affect pubs with far greater force than supermarkets.

“This disadvantage is compounded by a huge VAT and business-rates disparity between pubs and supermarkets, which is putting unsustainable pressure on many pubs in our industry, especially in smaller towns and less-affluent areas”.

In the first Conservative-only Budget for 19 years, Osborne announced that a living wage of £7.20 an hour would be introduced for staff over 25 from April next year.

An upcoming rise for Wetherspoon bar staff will mean staff are paid £7.32 an hour from next month, however, the starting rate is £6.89, meaning a significant jump in pay for staff next year.

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