Asked why the government was not increasing the minimum wage for the younger people, the PMS said the government was accepting the Low Paid Commission’s recommendation. The adult rate would increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour from October 2012, the rate for 18 to 20-year-olds would remain and £4.98 an hour and the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds would remain at £3.68. He said the rate for apprentices would increase by 5p to £2.65. He added that raising youth rates would not benefit young people if it meant it was more difficult for them to find a job.
Asked if any agreement had been reached on the government’s plans to take on the assets of the Royal Mail’s pension fund, the PMS said it was still subject to state aid approval. He added he did not know what stage those discussions were at, but the decision to do this was taken in the middle of last year. He said that today’s reports were about how it would be treated on the books by the Office of National Statistics.
Asked if the PM would be making a statement to Parliament about the US trip, the PMS said the PM made statements following major summits, like G8 or NATO, or European Councils, not following international trips.