Some big businesses are not happy about being forced to pay the new national living wage. Wetherspoons, Next and Whitbread (owners of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn) have all attacked the rebranded minimum wage. They say paying the new £7.20 an hour minimum will hit their profits.
Workers have previously had to have meagre wages topped up by taxpayers with family credits and housing benefits.
Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity, said: "Our Union supports a higher minimum wage. Why should the public purse subsidise private companies through family credits and housing benefit payments to low-paid workers?"