Minimum wage rises… but only for over 21s

THE NATIONAL Minimum Wage for over 21s has today risen to £6.19 an hour, although the rate for 18-20 year olds has stayed at £4.98.

The rise, worth 11p, increases the value of the minimum wage by 1.8%, though the latest measure of the rate of inflation – the rate at which the price of goods in shops is increasing – is 2.6%.

The rates are set by the Low Pay Commission, an independent body that advises the Government.

A spokesperson for the Trades Union Congress, which represents trade unions, described the wage freeze for young people as a “particular blow”, saying they will face “the biggest hit on their living standards”. “There is no evidence that the minimum wage has had an adverse impact on young people’s employment so it is hard to see the logic behind their pay freeze.”

A 20 year old Aberystwyth student earning minimum wage in a local bar told The Courier: “It’s ridiculous that under 21s haven’t been afforded a pay rise. It was bad enough with the pay gap as it was before, now it’s even more insulting that I earn less than my colleagues for doing exactly the same job. I don’t pay less for my rent or other living expenses, so why should I be paid less?”