British pubgoers could be slapped with a 30p hike per pint once Rishi Sunak increases the national living wage, struggling business chiefs say.
Landlords have warned that they will be forced to up the prices for a pint after the chancellor boosts wages in tomorrow's budget.
It comes after he announced that the lowest paid will see their wage go up by 6.6% from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour – which should add on an average of around £1000 before tax to the annual pay of a full-time worker.
The chancellor is also set to stop the public sector pay freeze and offer millions of workers a pay raise, reports The Sun.
Business minister Paul Scully believes the boost is necessary and said they won't "build a recovery based on the backs of the lowest paid in our society".
He said today that the Government wants to put a stop to low pay by ensuring that the minimum wage becomes two-thirds of the average salary by 2024.
But one pub boss says that landlords can't soak up the extra costs as the industry is "coming off life support" following the coronavirus pandemic.
City Pub Group chairman Clive Watson said: "We cannot absorb all these increased costs whether it is the energy costs whether it is food inflation, whether it is labour costs.
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"So the only way forward for us is to put the price of beer and food up in our pubs.
"No one wants to do that but I reckon the price of beer would probably have to go up 25p-30p a pint to take account of all these increased costs."
Businesses have already been heavily hit by inflation from inflation, the supply chain crisis, record vacancies, and the rise in energy prices.
It was recently revealed that 99% of the hospitality sector were experiencing issues with stock and shortages.
A poll showed that eight in 10 boozers are set to (or already have) upped their prices in response to the increase in costs.
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But despite struggling families facing a rise in overheads, Mr Sunak refuses to listen to calls for him to cut VAT on energy bills.
It has been reported that he is already facing questions over whether his wage increases will actually benefit low-income families.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said most workers on the living wage will only see a rise of £250 a year because their benefits will drop as earnings increase.
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