National minimum wage to increase to £6.70 an hour

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Downing Street has confirmed that the minimum wage is to increase to £6.70 an hour, an increase of 20p (3%) from the old rate of £6.50. This increase was recommended by the Low Pay Commission with the minimum wage rates for 18-20 year olds (up 3% to £5.30) and 16-17 year olds (up 3% to £3.87) also increasing.

The Low Pay Commission also recommended an increase in the national minimum wage for apprentices of 3% but the Government has opted for a 20% rise to £3.30 an hour.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said:

“At the heart of our long-term economic plan for Britain is a simple idea – that those who put in, should get out; that hard work is really rewarded; that the benefits of recovery are truly national. That’s what today’s announcement is all about – saying to hardworking taxpayers, this is a government that is on your side. It will mean more financial security for Britain’s families; and a better future for our country.”

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said in a statement:

“This is just one of the many ways in which we’ve created a fairer society whilst building a stronger economy. If you work hard, this government is behind you all the way. Whether you’re on low pay or starting your dream career through an apprenticeship, you will get more support to help you go further and faster.”

Chuka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary, said:

“This 20p rise falls far short of the £7 minimum wage which  George Osborne promised over a year ago. Ministers have misled working families who have been left worse off.”

The increase will take effect from October 2015.