Belfast Telegraph

Minimum wage to rise by 20p

By Alan Johnston

The national minimum wage is to increase by 20p an hour to £6.70, the biggest real-terms rise in seven years, the Government has announced.

More than 1.4 million low-paid workers will benefit from the 3% hike, while rates for younger workers and apprentices will also go up - all from October.

The hourly rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up from £5.13 to £5.30 (3%) and by 8p to £3.87 for 16 and 17-year-olds (2%).

The statutory minimum for apprentices will jump by 57p to £3.30, an increase of 20% - the biggest ever rise.

The rates were recommended by the Low Pay Commission, although the Government is going further than the suggested figure of £2.80 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."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the move rewarded hard workers. "This is just one of the many ways in which we've created a fairer society while building a stronger economy."

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