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MINIMUM WAGE SET TO RISE BY 10P

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The national minimum wage is to be increased by 10p and hour to£3.70, reports The Independent (p1). ...
The national minimum wage is to be increased by 10p and hour to£3.70, reports The Independent (p1).

Stephen Byers, the trade and industry secretary, agreed the increasing in talks with Gordon Brown, the chancellor, over the weekend. Mr Byers will announce that further increases will be made 'when the economic conditions allow'.

The youth rate, for those aged 18 to 21 inclusive, will be increased in June from£3 an hour to£3.20. The new adult rate will be introduced in October to give businesses time to prepare for the extra burden on their costs.

Tomorrow Mr Brown and Mr Byers will reject backbench demands at a private meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party for annual rises in the minimum wage in line with inflation.

But the ministers will the backbenchers that such an idea is fundamentally flawed because it implies the minimum wage is a state benefit, instead of a pay increase in the private sector.
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