17th March 2015
The national minimum wage is to rise by 20p an hour to £6.70 from October in a move that will help 1.4 million workers.
The wage for apprentices will increase by 57p an hour to £3.30. This will halve the gap with the national minimum wage rate for 16 to 17 year olds, which rise by 2% to £3.87 an hour from October 2015. The minimum for 18 to 20-year-olds will ago up from £5.13 to £5.30.
The increase in the adult minimum wage is the largest in seven years.
The rates were put forward by the Low Pay Commission, an independent body that reviews the minimum wage, but the government has gone further than the 7p an hour increase suggested for apprentices.
Prime Minister David Cameron 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.”
Frances O’Grady , general secretary of the TUC, said: “For the low paid to get a fair share of the recovery, this was a year in which we could have had a much bolder increase in the minimum wage.
“With one in five workers getting less than a living wage, this is nowhere near enough to end in-work poverty. Britain’s minimum wage workers should be very fearful of the billions of pounds of cuts to government help for the low paid that the Chancellor is planning if re-elected.
“Apprentices will welcome the increase to their minimum wage, which will reduce the shortfall in their minimum pay relative to 16 and 17 year-old employees. But there really shouldn’t be a gap at all. The TUC will continue to call on the Low Pay Commission to recommend a future increase that will match the apprentice rate to that for 16 and 17 year-olds.”