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House of Commons Hansard
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06 March 2007
Volume 457
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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the policy reasons were for limiting the payment of the development rate minimum wage to 18 to 22-year-olds. [125158]

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The Government believe that there should be a lower rate of the minimum wage for younger workers.

Employment and unemployment levels for young workers are already significantly less favourable than those for older workers and our concern is that we might exacerbate this position if we moved young workers onto the adult rate.

The Low Pay Commission has consistently advised that there is a lower rate for younger workers. In their 2005 report the Low Pay Commission said:

“Evidence suggests that the application of the adult rate to younger people would have adverse employment consequences, given the distinctive features of the labour market for young people”.