Successive increases in the minimum wage are adding to food and drink manufacturers' woes.

Just this week the Food & Drink Federation has warned that if further increases outstrip inflation, they will harm the competitiveness of this sector.

Since the sector represents the largest group of manufacturers in the UK, that should certainly make the government think carefully about further increases after 1 October's rise.

But it isn't just manufacturers that are suffering. The British Retail Consortium and the Association of Convenience Stores have also joined forces to call on the government to scale back minimum wage hikes.

No one is suggesting that workers in the food and drink industry shouldn't receive a fair wage for their efforts. But if businesses are crippled in the process, that won't help employees or their dependants.

Perhaps the government should take a broader view and consider all the other excessive increasing costs that businesses are being forced to bear at the moment.