MARKET MONITOR A graphic guide to the off-trade
Published:  23 August, 2007

The British Retail Consortium is calling on the government to make the process of setting the national minimum wage open, predictable and based on economics. The BRC commissioned a report which found the NMW had climbed 46 per cent since 1999 - and said that is "way above any of the economic indicators that should be influencing it". Director general Kevin Hawkins said: "The erratic increases of the past have outstripped all the economic indicators that should have guided them. This is now undermining many retailers' ability to create jobs, while the uncertainty over future costs disrupts attempts to plan investment, recruitment and pay settlements." The report found that some 75 per cent of the retail workforce now earn NMW.

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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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