Minimum wage up by 15p to £6.08

Bank notes The increase takes account of the current economic uncertainty

The minimum wage has gone up, with the main rate for adults aged 21 or over rising by 15p to £6.08 an hour.

The development rate - for those aged 18 to 20 - goes up by 6p to £4.98 an hour, for 16 and 17-year-olds it rises by 4p to £3.68 an hour and the hourly apprentice rate rises by 10p to £2.60.

The TUC welcomed the rise but Unison said the rates were still too low.

The minimum wage was introduced in 1999 at £3.60 an hour for adults, and is set each year by the Low Pay Commission.

New laws from 1 October

  • Default retirement age of 65 ends
  • Minimum wage increases
  • New rules for paying agency workers

The commission recommended this year's increase in a report to the government in April.

It said the increases would balance the needs of low-paid workers and their employers facing difficulties during a period of economic uncertainty.

As levels of youth unemployment are relatively high, it recommended a lower increase for young workers than for their older counterparts, to try to encourage employers to keep them on.

The TUC it estimated the increases would benefit nearly 900,000, mainly female, workers.

The general secretary of the public sector union, Unison, said £8 an hour was needed to provide a living wage.

"The rise to £6.08 is a welcome cushion, but with the price of everyday essentials such as food, gas and electricity going up massively, it won't lift enough working people out of the poverty trap," Dave Prentis said.

As a result, he called on employers to pay more than the absolute minimum.



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  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    £6 an hour still requires tax credits (and other benefits) to operate simply for people to pay basic bills and get basic food on the table. The same people who complain about the existence of a minimum wage, complain about government spending on benefits. They appear to inhabit an economic LaLa land where people simply need to work harder and everything will be fine.

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    NOTE:This is a 2.5% pay cut for all the people on the minimum wage.

    Employers are laughing all the way to the bank!

    At least they will be until they find out that the same people cannot afford to buy the things they could before so their sales fall.

    Economics of the mad house but what else do people expect.

    I bet you Bosses and Managers have an inflation busting pay rise next year!

  • Comment number 163.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    Kick a football or smile at the camera for millions a year. Go to college,(if your parents can afford to help...and you're prepared to pay thousands back if they can't) do your best but can't get a job with a wage sufficent to give you any kind of lifestyle, some people on this column who criticise the minumum wage should show a bit of compassion for those in need. Get some proportion here!

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    Wow, £6.08! As much as that?! This needs to be reviewed I think. I personally find it disgusting that in this day and age when we are supposed to have equality laws, that age matters. Whether a person is 16 or 21, surely if they are doing exactly the same job they should be getting the same wage?? Age should not be factor!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    A minimum wage should be enough to live on modestly & 40 years ago you could.As it is, the minimum wage has to be stocked up by the tax payer.Why should we have to subsidise employers?Because they will otherwise sack everyone rather than be satisfied with a more modest profit?Call their bluff and if the present ones won't pay, perhaps there are less greedy ones out there who will take their place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    If you can't get a better paid job, you should have paid attention in school. You reap what you sow.

    I paid attention at school (good grades), paid attention at college BOTH TIMES (again good grades) and some folk paid attention at uni (with good grades) yet we struggle to get perm jobs let alone reasonably paid, so your comment doesn't stack up in reality.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    If you don't think it is enough money for you to live on, get a better paid job. If you can't get a better paid job, you should have paid attention in school. You reap what you sow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    150. Whitefall
    @147 Doozie


    Here you again distorting to make your point,
    Who said equal wages ?
    Do you think Tiger Wood needs or deserves to have 1 BILLION dollars in his account ?
    Remember that money comes from the workers of companies who sponsor him.


  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    Whitefall 126,..Exploitation is what is really horrible,.and demeaning, a full belly doesn't mean a happy person if they have no pride in themselves or their work. If decency and respect and fairness are not a totally natural thing, then laws should be made, where they are the foundations of all other laws, whether some like it or not. How, in any society that has any pride, can that be wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    We need a maximum wage and by this I mean that no-one in any company should be allowed more than 15x the average wage they pay out, those at the top would still get their obscene wages, but only by making sure that those at the bottom get 'fair' pay.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    The high wages given to CEOs and "bosses" is justified by the rare talents/ability of those people.

    Like the 'talent' of knowing how to force a gov to pay you out (through taxpayers) to stop most of our (the taxpayers) money disappearing into a black hole, so you can still pay yourself huge bonuses and good payrises, pensions, etc while the taxpayers struggle from day to day?

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    £6.08 an hour is not a living wage. It is a surviving wage.

  • Comment number 152.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.


    I started working on around £2.60ph at 16, working with folks in their 30's on the same rate, and it was enough for a night out a week (pt i was at college). So after 17 years of inflation £3.68 is a high wage? Pricing the young out of the workforce?


    So we go with the actual min rather than cherrypicking a higher 'min' wage (our min is the ACTUAL min)

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    @147 Doozie

    The high wages given to CEOs and "bosses" is justified by the rare talents/ability of those people. Employers are willing to pay higher wages to attain that rare talent/ability, just as diamond collectors are willing to pay more for diamonds than common rocks. That's why they earn more than min wage workers. Don't be an egalitarian, because "equal wages" don't make any sense at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    109. realworldtoo 1 Hour ago
    My thoughts are with you.
    My son, fought in Iraq 9 months, followed by a 9 months in Afgan, 2 weeks in field hospital after being taken out by IED. He left the army, to start a career in Plumbing paid for by himself, he cannot finish the course as he must be employed, just like the other 25 in the class and the other 3 classes. He is paying for this course.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    136. Rodders

    Minimum wages are set by sector as well, which you may not have realised.

    In the retail sector minimum wage varies between $17 and $21 ph

    Fact - in Melbourne businesses now close for Sunday trading because they cannot carry the wage load.

    Fact - jobs are being lost.

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    reg #133. Whitefall
    The minimum wage destroys jobs by pricing cheaper jobs out of existence



  • Comment number 146.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?


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