By Daniel Hunter

Next boss Lord Wolfson has said he may reduce his own bonus in order to fund a wage rise for 20,000 shopfloor staff.

Wages will be increased by at least 5%, and the company is hoping to fund it with increased sales and reduced costs. However, Lord Wolfson said he would cut his bonus to fund any shortfall.

The fashion retailer's boss was paid £4.66 million in cash and shares last year, and received a bonus of £1.1m.

The pay rise, which will take effect in October, will take shopfloor wages from £6.70 an hour to £7.04, or £7.58 with bonuses.

In a letter to staff on Tuesday, Wolfson wrote: “However, in the event there is a shortfall in funding, I have agreed with the board that any bonus I might be due in the year ahead will be used to help fill the gap.

“Spread across so many people my future bonus might not amount to a great deal per head, but I hope at least it will convince you of the company’s sincerity.”

A Tory peer, Lord Wolfson was on the receiving end of criticism after saying the living wage campaign was irrelevant. He apologised and said he was 'mortified' that some of his comments had been misinterpreted. “I certainly did not intend to belittle the difficulties some people have in making ends meet.” he said.