The government has followed the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and increased the national minimum wage by 12p for adults, lifting it from £6.19 per hour to £6.31 per hour.
For 16 and 17 year olds there is an increase of 4p per hour to £3.72, for 18 to 20 year olds it is increased by 5p to £5.03 per hour and by 3p to £2.68 per hour for apprentices. These rises will take effect in October 2013.
The increases are below current inflation levels. Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation currently stands at 3.2% and the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) at 2.8%.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The independent Low Pay Commission plays a crucial role in advising the government when setting the national minimum wage every year. It balances wages of low paid workers against employment prospects if the rate was set too high.
We are accepting its recommendations for the adult and youth rate increases, which I am confident strikes this balance. However, there is worrying evidence that a significant number of employers are not paying apprentices the relevant minimum wage rate."
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