By Jonathan Davies

An increase in National Minimum Wage (NMW) takes effect today (Wednesday), meaning workers aged 21 and over must be paid at least £6.50 per hour.

NMW for 21 year olds and above rises 19p from £6.31. Minimum wage for 18-20 year olds rises 10p to £5.13, for 16-17 year olds it is up 7p to £3.79 and apprentices will see minimum wage rise 5p to £2.73.

Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
“The rise in the National Minimum Wage will help hard-pressed families, but can only be one part of the answer when it comes to raising living standards and ensuring everyone feels the benefits of growth.

“Business and politicians must do more to help people progress in their careers and help them move into roles with increased pay.

“It is vital that any rise is based on sound economic evidence, so political parties should refrain from interfering in the future decision-making of the independent Low Pay Commission to avoid jeopardising the broad business support the National Minimum Wage enjoys."

At the Labour Party conference last week, Ed Miliband announced plans to increase NMW to £8 per hour by 2020, if elected to government at next year's general election.

The government last year announced plans to 'name and shame' minimum wage offenders and is likely to continue with the scheme after today's increases.

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