Good news for those in low paid jobs as national minimum wage rises

Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire and Employment Relations Minister has today welcomed the Government’s announcement that it has accepted the independent Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendations for this year’s adult and youth National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates.

The Government has also made the decision to increase the apprentice rate rather than freeze it as was recommended.

The following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2013:

  • - the adult rate will increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour
  • - the rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 5p to £5.03 an hour
  • - the rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour
  • - the apprentice rate will increase by 3p to £2.68 an hour.
  • - the accommodation offset increases from the current £4.82 to £4.91

Commenting Jo said:

“A higher minimum wage is good news for those working in low paid jobs and reflects the efforts this government continues to put into making sure work pays.  Combined with the increase in the income tax threshold it means more money in the pockets of low paid workers. It will further help the creation of a stronger economy and a fairer society.

“The support for apprentices, which goes above and beyond the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations, also shows our commitment to helping young people into work. I have seen for myself how important these opportunities are to young people, their families and communities in our local area. We will work hard to ensure firms comply with the rates and that apprenticeships continue to be an attractive route into work for young people in Scotland.”

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 National Minimum Wage 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.

“Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people. Therefore, I am not taking forward the LPC’s recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates. We are working on a series of tough new measures to ensure we tackle non-compliance issues across the board.”

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