Minimum Wage

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 10th March 2005.

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Photo of Mr John Lyons Mr John Lyons Labour, Strathkelvin and Bearsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has for (a) amendments to and (b) elimination of the development rate of the minimum wage.

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs)

The Government continues to believe that the development rate of the minimum wage is necessary to help protect the employment prospects of young workers. As the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Ms Hewitt) said in her written statement to Parliament on 25 February 2005, Hansard, column 71WS, the Government have accepted the Low Pay Commission's recommendation in their 2005 Report that the development rate should be increased to £4.25 an hour in October 2005.

However we have not accepted the Commission's recommendation that 21 year-old workers should be moved onto the adult rate, because the economic evidence on this point remains mixed. We therefore intend to make no change in 2005 but to look carefully at this issue in the future.

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