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'Young workers left behind' TUC criticise wage inequalities

More than a third of British businesses say their wage bills have risen since the new national living wage Photo: PA Images

The TUC in the South West have criticised the government for inequalities in minimum pay and say young workers are being left behind.

The National Minimum wage for workers under 25 increases from Saturday October 1st.

The increase means a national minimum wage of £6.95 per hour for workers aged 21-24, an increase of 25p (3.7%).

Younger workers on the minimum wage will receive a pay rise worth up to £450 a year Credit: PA Images

The Government say it's the highest rate ever in real terms but the Trade Union Congress say it's not good enough.

Today's increase will be welcome news for young workers, but there is no justification for paying people in their early twenties 25p an hour less than other adults. Their employment rate is rising and they work just as hard as older workers, yet are entitled to less at the end of the week. That's simply not right. These young workers are getting a raw deal - it's time for the government to bump them up to the full minimum wage.

– TUC Spokesperson

A national 'living wage' was introduced in April at a rate of £7.20 and hour, but it does not apply to those under the age of 25.

The TUC is calling for all workers aged over 21 to be entitled the full adult minimum wage of £7.20.

The then Chancellor George Osborne visits a store they day the Living Wage was introduced Credit: PA Images

Minimum Wage Increases

21-24
Was £6.70 now £6.59 Increase of 3.7%
18-20
Was £5.30 now £5.55 Increase of 4.7%
16*-17
Was £3.87 now £4 Increase of 3.4%

*16 year olds above school leaving age only

Meanwhile a chamber of commerce survey of more than 1,600 business leaders across the UK found 34% have had to increase their wage bills since the 'Living Wage' introduction in April.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "The Government promised to create an economy that works for all and today's increase means our lowest paid workers will benefit from their largest pay rise since the recession.

"This will make a real difference to hard-working people up and down the country and means for the vast majority of workers, the national minimum wage is at its highest level in real terms."