The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has expressed disappointment after the Government confirmed the 3% increase in the adult National Minimum Wage to £6.50 recommended by the Low Pay Commission.

In a speech this morning, Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed that the Government had accepted all of the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are disappointed with the increase in the National Minimum Wage above inflation, above average earnings growth, and above public sector pay award levels. Our research has clearly shown that retailers have little choice but to reduce staff hours and delay further business investment when the minimum wage is increased.”

The 2013 ACS Minimum Wage Survey showed that 87% of retailers have reduced staff hours within their business as a result of increases in employment costs, while 75% have delayed expansion and investment plans. Findings from the Voice of Local Shops survey of 1,100 retailers earlier this year revealed that the majority of independent retailers believe that they earn less than the national minimum wage when their working hours are taken into account.

Lowman continued: “Despite our disappointment with the increase, we are pleased that the Government has not buckled under the political pressure and gone beyond the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission recommendations. We firmly believe that the Low Pay Commission is best placed to recommend the wage rates.”