Minimum wage rise kept down to help firms hire

 
Tim Wallace
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THE MINIMUM wage will be increased in October for most workers, the government announced yesterday – but those under the age of 21 will not see their pay rise as ministers fear it could price them out of the labour market.

Adults aged 21 or over must be paid at least £6.19 per hour from October, up 1.82 per cent from the current rate.

Employers groups welcomed the rise, which came in below the 2.5 per cent last year, though labour bodies argued a rise for young people would help boost consumer confidence.

“This shows appropriate restraint at a time of falling inflation and rising unemployment,” said the British Retail Consortium’s Stephen Robertson. “Any larger increase would have piled extra pressure on retailers at a time of weak customer demand.”