This weeks budget referred to a minimum wage increase across the whole minimum wage structure. This includes a 2.2% or 13 pence per hour increase for those aged 21 or over taking them to £5.93 per hour, a 1.9% or 9 pence per hour increase for 18 – 20 year olds taking them to £4.92 per hour and a 2% or 7 pence per hour increase for 16 – 17 year olds taking them to £3.64 per hour. These new rates come into effect on the 1st of October 2010.
On the whole the budget has helped out the small to medium sized businesses but Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the BCC criticised the move as this may discourage some businesses from taking on extra staff in the near future and may encourage some to downsize. The rise has, however, been greeted as a moderate and sensible rise by John Cridland deputy director general of the CBI and is in accordance with recommendations from the Low Pay Commision.