Osborne criticises retailers over National Living Wage

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says employers cutting work perks to help them meet the cost of the national living wage (NLW) are failing to act in "in the spirit of the law".

Osborne said in Parliament he was "angry" some retailers had sought to cut work benefits since the NLW came in at £7.20/hour on 1 April, adding: "I think companies these days should be much more careful about their reputation and much more aware of their social responsibility to their workforce as well as to their community." 

B&Q was criticised for changes to employment contracts, which the company has since improved.

Labour MP Joan Ryan said workers are being "sold a lie" by a government "giving with one hand" and allowing bosses to "take with the other".

"If the Chancellor promised everyone a pay rise, then everyone should receive a pay rise. If he promised that the government was going to be radical on strengthening wages, then he needs to deliver that radical change."

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