BUSINESS leaders have warned the Welsh Government not to press for private sector pay rises as ministers investigate public sector wage levels.
Welsh Labour has a manifesto commitment to find ways of making sure all Welsh workers are paid a "living wage".
Academics at Loughborough University have estimated a living wage is at least £7.20 an hour. The current statutory minimum wage is £6.08 an hour for workers aged 21 and over.
Welsh NHS workers and Welsh Government civil servants are already paid at least the living wage. Some big private firms are also signed up to paying it.
Robert Lloyd Griffiths, of the Institute of Directors, said he was concerned the living wage would effectively become the new minimum wage.
"Businesses would like to take on more staff and lots of companies that I talk to would love to be in a position to be able to take on more employees," he said. "I'm afraid it (living wage) just isn't realistic in the environment we live in."