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Government confirms minimum wage increase

The Government has confirmed that the recommended rises in the national minimum wage made by the Low Pay Commission will come into effect in October.

The new rates are: £5.93 per hour for low paid workers aged 21 and over, up from  £5.80; £4.92 per hour for 18-20 year olds, up from £4.83; and £3.64 per hour for 16-17 year olds, up from £3.57.

For the first time there will also be an apprentice minimum wage of £2.50 per hour. The new rate will apply to those apprentices who are under 19 or those that are aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The accommodation offset will rise from £4.51 per day to £4.61.

Edward Davey, the employment relations minister, said: "The increases to the national minimum wage this year are appropriate for the economic climate. They will strike a balance between helping the lowest paid whilst at the same time not jeopardising their employment. 

"The Low Pay Commission estimates that around 970,000 people stand to benefit from these increases. 

"Workers on the national minimum wage are disproportionately likely to be employed by small firms and so it is right the Low Pay Commission considers their competitiveness when they make their recommendations for next year. SMEs will be vital to our economic recovery."