Minimum wage to rise to £5.73

The minimum wage will rise to £5.73 from October, the Prime Minister announced to Labour cheers in the Commons today.

Mr Brown said this would be a 60 per cent rise since the minimum wage was introduced in 1999.

"Some people said the minimum wage would cost us two million jobs. We have a rising minimum wage and we have created three million jobs," he said at question time.

Mr Brown was responding to Labour's Fabian Hamilton (Leeds NE) who said "poverty pay" had been largely eradicated by the introduction of the minimum wage.

"Will you reassure my constituents and this House that it will continue to rise in line with average earnings and you will maintain your commitment to high employment and investment in public services?" he asked.

Mr Brown replied: "I am pleased to announce that the minimum wage will rise to £5.73 this October."

He pledged: "We will maintain public services in health, education, transport infrastructure and to children and pensioners.

"We will keep our promises on public services."