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Govt raises minimum wage by 3%

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  • 17/03/2015
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The national minimum wage will increase by 3%, the government has announced ahead of the General Election in May.

It will go up by 20p an hour to £6.70 from October, the BBC reports.

The changes will benefit more than 1.4 million workers.

For younger workers the hourly rate will also rise, and for apprentices it will go up by 20% – or 57p – to £3.30 an hour.

The rates were recommended by the Low Pay Commission but the government has gone further than the 7p an hour increase suggested for apprentices.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the across-the-board increases would offer “more financial security” to workers, and “a better future” for Britain.

Labour said the minimum wage had been “eroded” under the coalition government.

The 3% rise in the minimum wage for adults is the biggest real-terms rise in seven years, according to the BBC.

It was recommended by the Low Pay Commission – the independent body that advises the government on the minimum wage.

The statutory minimum for 18 to 20-year-olds will also go up by 3% from October, from £5.13 to £5.30, and by 2% for 16 and 17-year-olds, taking the rate to £3.87, as the LPC advised.

But the government went above the commission’s proposed 7p an hour increase in the apprenticeship rate, choosing instead to increase it by 57p an hour.

The rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the national minimum wage for their age.

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