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National living wage 'will benefit industry'

Behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg has urged HBAA members to embrace the new national living wage

M&IT and ABPCO's Livng Wage for Live Events campaign

The new national living wage will benefit the hospitality industry, a leading economist has claimed.

Speaking at the HBAA Annual Forum in Birmingham, behavioural economist Roger Martin-Fagg urged the association’s members to embrace the new national living wage.

He said: “A lot of people will complain that the living wage will be the death of them. It won’t.

“All you’ve got to do is pay it, and everyone will benefit.”

Martin-Fagg added that the new national living wage, announced by the chancellor George Osborne in the Budget earlier this month, will help drive up consumer spending.

He said: “Consumer spending is the front-end driver of all spending. If consumers are not spending, nothing is going to happen.”

In the Budget, Osborne announced plans to introduce the national living wage for all workers over the age of 25, pegged at £7.20 per hour from April 2016 and set to reach £9 by 2020. 

However, this is distinct from the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage, calculated annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy and currently at £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the UK.

M&IT magazine has teamed up with the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) to launch the Living Wage for Live Events campaign to persuade event buyers and policy makers to encourage venue and hospitality providers to pay the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage. Currently, up to 90 per cent of workers in the hospitality sector live below that rate.

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