Minimum wage and VAT change come into effect

<p>Minimum wage and VAT changes have come into effect in the UK this morning.</p>

A rise in the salaries of the lowest paid workers has been implemented today (October 1st), as have various changes to UK tax and benefits.

These include an increase to the minimum wage to £6.19 per hour from £6.08 per hour, however the rate for those aged under 21 will remain unchanged.

This freeze means 18-20-year-olds are paid at least £4.98 per hour, while 16 and 17-year-olds' earnings start at £3.68 per hour. Apprentice wages are up 5p to £2.65 per hour.

Value-added tax, meanwhile, will be levied on hairdressers' chairs and sports drinks.

The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has welcomed the minimum wage rises, but believes younger people are still very disenfranchised.

"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," the TUC commented.

At 11:25 BST, the pound was lower versus the vast majority of its forex trading partners, sliding 0.1 per cent against the dollar and 0.4 per cent against the euro to £1 buying $1.614 and €1.251.

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