Economic Development News Brief: National minimum wage rises
The national minimum wage rose last week to £3 an hour for 16 and 17-year-olds; £4.10 for 18-21 year olds; and £4.85 for those over 21. Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber welcomed the increase, but said the Government must hike the rate again next year. He said: "Any rate below £5 per hour next year will be a real terms cut in the minimum wage." A loan fund for up and coming companies in Ayrshire opened for business last week. The fund will be run by community development finance institution Developing Strathclyde Limited (DSL), which has been operating in Glasgow and Dunbartonshire for more than a decade. Loans from DSL are usually from £1,000 to £30,000. For more information, (tel) 0141 572 5551, or visit www.developing-strathclyde.org.