The government has announced that it has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and will increase the National Minimum Wage to £9.50 an hour from next April.
The changes mean that a worker aged 23 or over will see a 6.6 percent increase from £8.91, while those aged 20-21 will receive £9.18 an hour – up 82 pence from £8.36.
Government sources claim that the pay hike represents an increase of £1,000 per annum for eligible full-time workers. The extra cash is expected to be confirmed in the upcoming budget on Wednesday, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is also expected to reveal his intention to boost the minimum wage over the £10 threshold before the next election is due.
Mr Sunak said that the uplift ‘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.’
Meanwhile, a statement issued by HM Treasury said: ‘By introducing these changes, which are broadly consistent with previous increases, the government accepts all recommendations made by the Low Pay Commission – an independent advisory board which brings together economists, employers and employee representatives.
‘The government remains committed to meeting its ambitious target of a national living wage of two-thirds of median earnings and expanding it to include workers over the age of 21 by 2024, provided economic conditions allow.’
The Workers Union Says
This increase to the National Minimum Wage is vital in the context of the rising costs of living that are likely to crunch household budgets over the coming months. It will throw a lifeline to the people that need it most and may end up compensating for some of the inevitable cloth cutting to come in Wednesday’s budget.
However, although this is a commendable step in the right direction, the chancellor must keep his foot to the floor and get us over the £10 per hour mark as soon as possible. Working people are dealing with an unprecedented number of challenges, ranging from the COVID fallout, to sky-rocketing utility bills. Now more than ever it’s time to reward their hard work for the sake of this country’s future.
The Workers Union – fighting for social justice, fighting for you