The national minimum wage for adults will rise by 12p from October 2013 to £6.31 an hour, ministers have announced. This represents a cash increase of 1.9 per cent – but a real-terms cut when compared with current retail price inflation of 3.2 per cent.
The minimum rate for young people aged 18-20 will rise by even less, just 5p (1 per cent), to £5.03 an hour. For those aged 16-17 it will rise by 4p (1.1 per cent) to £3.72.
Ministers did, however, reject a recommendation from the official Low Pay Commission that the rate for apprentices should be frozen. The apprentice rate will instead increase by 3p (1.1 per cent) to £2.68 an hour.