Page last updated at 23:10 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 00:10 UK

Most firms 'plan to freeze wages'

Queue outside a job centre
Firms warn of further redundancies in the coming year

The majority of companies are planning to freeze wages this year, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Its survey found that 58% of firms are planning to freeze salaries and a further 12% are planning to cut them this year.

Half of those companies who responded said that they are either considering or are certain to make redundancies this year.

The BCC surveyed a total of 400 companies between 23 March and 6 April.

"There was some support in the Budget, but more is needed to help Britain's embattled businesses so that they can drive our economy out of recession, creating jobs and wealth in the process," said BCC director general David Frost.

"The government must realise that the private sector cannot bear all of the pain."

The survey also found one in five firms believed staff hours would be cut over the next six months, and almost two thirds expected the UK economy to get worse.

The report was published ahead of the chambers' annual convention in Birmingham on Monday.

Speakers will include shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and business minister Baroness Vadera.

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