The pub trade has attacked the latest increase in the national minimum wage, warning of staff lay-offs or reduced hours.

The minimum wage will rise 40p to £4.10 in October and by another 10p next year.

Trade associations say the government has reneged on earlier assurances that increases would not be made annually in the same way that taxes are.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers said the latest rise was an election sweetener.

Bass, which is a supporter of the minimum wage, said the rise above the rate of inflation was different to what it was led to believe would happen.