The greed of our business sector clearly knows no bounds. Not content with having a corporation tax level 20 percentage points lower than that of the United States, and set to get even lower, and being allowed to impose zero-hour contracts on its employees, without government regulation, and being able to reimburse its top companies` CEOs 183 times the average pay of their workers, it costs the country billions with its tax avoidance schemes. But that is not the end of the greed saga!
Now we learn that Britain`s "largest hospitality company - owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn", is set to push up prices for the customer, because of the "rebranded minimum wage"(Morning Star,09/09/15). Whitbread, sadly, is not alone, and inevitably there will be more claims of unaffordability from firms whose sole raison d`etre appears to be the maximisation of profit, whatever the cost to the consumer.
Apparently, the cost increase for Whitbread will amount to between £15 and £20m, which works out at 0.95% of the company`s operating costs. Let`s hope the customers get the message: last year Costa made a return on capital of 46%, and should be paying the living wage at least to all of its employees.