The rumours have been confirmed!
The government has announced that it is to increase the national minimum wage from £3.70 to £4.10 in October 2001, following the Low Pay Commission's recommendation.
It will then increase another 10p to £4.20 in October 2002.
No increase for young workers (18-21 years old) has been announced - thus it presumably remains stable at £3.20 per hour.
The EOC has issued a press release welcoming these increases. I have not yet seen any press releases from the CBI or similar bodies, but they objected to the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and lobbied against the proposed increases.
More information is available at http://www.dti.gov.uk/er/nmw/