Letter : Keep pay low

Ian McCartney states that "more and more companies support the principle of a minimum wage" (Letters, 26 May). This is certainly not the case in the clothing and textile industry which numbers some 13,000 companies and employs 380,000.

Although average earnings are in excess of pounds 4 per hour, a minimum wage at or above that will require increases in basic pay levels of as much as 30 per cent in some sectors, which will have a devastating effect on incentive payments systems and consequently productivity. This could have very detrimental consequences for the competitive position of the industry against international suppliers.

James McAdam

British Apparel and Textile Confederation

London W1