By Marcus Leach

Amid rising fuel costs, high inflation, and government cuts, there is at last some good news for the British worker; the minimum wage for adults has increased to £6.08p, effective from October.

The rise from the current £5.93 for adults aged 20 and over equates to 2.53%- just over half of the current consumer price inflation figure.

The news has been welcomed by unions, including TUC (Trades Union Congress) General Secretary, Brenden Barber: "The increases in minimum wage rates show that the government understands the NMW must remain an important part of working life."

The following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2011:

- The adult rate will increase by 15p to £6.08 an hour;
- The rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 6p to £4.98 an hour;
- The rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.68 an hour; and
- The rate for apprentices will increase by 10p to £2.60 an hour.

"More than 890,000 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers will gain from these changes. They are appropriate - reflecting the current economic uncertainty while at the same time protecting the UK’s lowest-paid workers. I would like to thank the LPC for doing a good job in difficult circumstances," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

Chairman of the LPC David Norgrove welcomed the changes.

"We welcome the Government's acceptance of our recommendations. The Commission was again unanimous, despite all the economic uncertainties. We believe we have struck the right balance between the needs of low-paid workers and the challenges faced by businesses," he said.

As announced in the Budget the Government will invite the LPC in its next report to consider the best way to give business greater clarity on future levels of the National Minimum Wage, including consideration of two-year recommendations. This could provide greater certainty for businesses, reduce risks and help them plan employment and investment decisions.