Prime Minister announces National Minimum Wage increases

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates.

The rate for 21 to 24-year-olds will increase to £6.95 an hour, up from the current amount of £6.70. Meanwhile, the NMW for 18 to 20-year-olds will rise from £5.30 to £5.55, and for those aged 16 or 17, the rate will increase from £3.87 an hour to £4 an hour.

Apprentices will also benefit from a 10p increase, bringing the current rate of £3.30 an hour up to £3.40.

These increases will come into force from October 2016.

Additionally, from April, workers aged 25 and over potentially stand to gain from the introduction of the Government’s new National Living Wage (NLW), which will initially be set at £7.20.

Furthermore, the Government has also announced new plans to implement a ‘Help to Save’ scheme.

The scheme will potentially benefit up to 3.5 million lower-paid workers who have savings put aside by supplying them with a top-up of up to £1,200 over the course of four years.

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Employees receiving in-work benefits, such as universal credit or working tax credits, will be able to save up to £50 per month, subsequently receiving a 50% bonus after two years, which could be worth up to £600.

Individuals will be able to then choose to continue saving for a further two years using the scheme, which would then render them able to receive another £600 bonus.

Further details regarding the new Help to Save scheme are expected to be announced in the Chancellor’s Budget speech on 16 March.

Chancellor George Osborne stated: ‘This Government is determined to improve life chances of the poorest in our society and our new Help to Save scheme will mean millions of low income savers across the country could now receive a Government bonus of up to £1,200 to help them build up their savings.

‘Alongside our new NLW, we’re also boosting pay for young workers with increases in the NMW – the next step for the next generation as we move to a higher wage society.’

The Chancellor will present the 2016 Budget on Wednesday 16 March. Coverage of the key announcements will be available on our website, so please visit regularly.

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