Letter: Minimum wage

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The Independent Online
Sir: Ian McCartney, Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry, is not exactly correct when he states (Letters, 1 December) that "all sectors of business also support the principle of a minimum wage".

The bulk of Britain's businesses are either micro (less than 10 employees) or small (less than 50) and some 97 per cent employ fewer than 20. While these may support a reasonable wage negotiated at local level, many worry that if a statutory, national, minimum wage is set too high then many will have to shed staff.

The much-vaunted US minimum wage applies only to industry and is set so low that employers pay it anyway. Despite promises to help small businesses, we are still to be made criminals, fined and penalised.

BERNARD JUBY

Chairman

Trade and Industry Policy Unit

Federation of Small Businesses

London SW1

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