By Marcus Leach

The Government has today, Thursday, accepted the independent Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendations for this year’s National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates.

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.

"This small increase in the minimum wage is completely outstripped by the current rate of inflation," Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:.

"The rise will do little to help the lowest paid in our society keep up with the rising cost of food and fuel.

"The paltry increase in the minimum wage for the under twenties is an insult. There is no reason why younger workers should be paid less and have to struggle more to keep up with the cost of living - it's tantamount to exploitation. Workers should be paid the rate for the job regardless of age. This is yet another attack on young people by this Tory-led government."