31/03/2016

Local Businesses Will Struggle To Afford National Living Wage - NIIRTA

Local businesses in Northern Ireland have raised concerns over the National Living Wage to be introduced tomorrow, 01 April.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) said local small traders will struggle to afford the National Living Wage and they are facing a "perfect storm" of business costs with the Rates Revaluation, the National Living Wage and Auto Enrolment Pensions.
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NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: "Our members will be facing a nearly 50% increase in their wages bills as a result of the Living Wage and Auto-Enrolment, not to mention many of them paying up to 100% extra in their rates bill.

"Given that 99% of all local business is small, the impact of the National Living Wage will have a particular detrimental impact on our indigenous business base.

"It is the cumulative impact of all these costs and red tape which narrow margins and restrict their growth potential. A number of our members have indicated that expansion plans for their businesses are being put on hold as they struggle to afford to pay these crippling costs.

"Unless the issue of high costs is addressed, the creation of jobs and new investment will be reduced at time when government needs to be doing more to support our private sector."

(CD/LM)

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