A delegation of independent retailers has warned the Low Pay Commission that further increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) could seriously affect the viability of their businesses.

C-store owners Jonathan James and Jonathan Clarke told the Commission that the pressures they faced from inflation-busting NMW hikes, together with other rising costs, had squeezed businesses like theirs over the past year.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman, who led the delegation, said: "A significant NMW rise could lead to further cutbacks in staff numbers and hours and make it harder for retailers to invest in their businesses."

ACS told the Commission that the chancellor's suggested 2% public sector pay rise should be reflected in the NMW.