Chancellor George Osborne said Britain can afford an increase in the minimum wage and "start to enjoy the fruits of all that hard work", in an interview with the BBC.
I think Britain can afford a higher minimum wage. I think we have worked hard to get to this point and we can start to to enjoy the fruits of all that hard work.
He indicated that he was ready to contemplate a rise in the £6.31-an-hour minimum wage to £7.
The exact figure has to be set by the Low Pay Commission, which talks to business, talks to other bodies in our economy.
But, if for example, the minimum wage had kept price with inflation it would be £7 by 2015/16. It's £6.31 at the moment, so, that's an increase.
I think we can see an above-inflation increase in the minimum wage and do it in a way that actually supports our economy precisely because the economy is recovering and many, many jobs are being created.
The Chancellor has said he is in favour of a rise in the minimum wage above the rate of inflation in an apparent turnaround.
Chancellor George Osborne has said that the country can afford an above-inflation increase in the national minimum wage ahead of elections.