This is laughable. How do you expect them to absorb it? Write to their landlord and ask for a rent reduction of 5%? Write to their local council and ask for a 5% rate rebate? Their suppliers? What sort of response do you think they'd get to that? The only way they can really reduce anything to absorb it is to is reduce their staff costs. How would you respond to being asked to take a 10% or even 20% pay cut? Or being told, “sorry, you’re now redundant”? Maybe in fantasy land where apparently you can break even selling bags of chips at 15c a go you could use some of your 90+% net margin, but I’m afraid back here in the real world, it’s not an option. As I say laughable: the very people who say “absorb the increase” are probably the very last who would volunteer to take a pay cut or redundancy.But now businesses need to decide whether to pass it on or absorb it.