Living wage rise gives low paid £1,000 per year
The rate rises by 59p per hour
Full-time workers on the National Living Wage will see their pay packet swell by £1,000 a year.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a rise in the hourly rate from £8.91 an hour to £9.50.
The Treasury confirmed the move for all over-23s ahead of the Budget this week.
The 6.6% hike, which comes into effect in April, is more than twice the current consumer price inflation rate of 3.1%.
While the National Minimum Wage applies to everyone of school-leaving age, the National Living Wage applies to everyone aged 23 and over and for those working 35 hours a week it means a pay rise of £1,073.80.
For the first time, the government’s national living wage matches the current recommendations from the Living Wage Foundation, an independent campaign organisation.
Rishi Sunak: ‘on the side of working people’
For those aged 21 and 22, the minimum wage will rise from £8.36 an hour to £9.18, while the figure for apprentices will go from £4.30 to £4.81 per hour.
Mr Sunak said: “This is a Government that is on the side of working people.
“This wage boost ensures we’re making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this Parliament.”
However, Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson said the hike fell short of Labour’s plans and would not compensate for increases in taxes and cuts in welfare.
“This underwhelming offer works out at £1,000 a year less than Labour’s existing plans for a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour for people working full-time,” she said.
“Much of it will be swallowed up by the Government’s tax rises, universal credit cuts and failure to get a grip on energy bills.
“It’s clear that Labour is the only party serious about improving the prospects of working people.”
The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) said the increase will be a blow to small businesses that are already struggling to survive.
Independent retailers say they will bear the brunt unless they receive help from the government
NFRN National President Narinder Randhawa said: “Rather than boosting many shop workers’ incomes, the proposed increase will have the opposite effect of threatening jobs in the sector.”