National Living Wage set to rise to £9.50 an hour

WORKERS on the minimum wage are set to get a pay boost from April, with the rate for those aged over 23 rising to £9.50 an hour from £8.91 currently reports the BBC.

The rise means a full-time worker will get £1,074 extra a year before tax.

The move will be announced at this week’s Budget and follows the recommendation of independent advisers the Low Pay Commission.

The government has faced pressure to help low-paid, younger workers, who are among the worst hit by the pandemic.

The 6.6% increase in the National Living Wage for those aged over 23 is more than twice the current 3.1% rise in the cost of living.

Minimum pay rates for younger workers are also set to go up.

The National Minimum Wage for people aged 21-22 will rise from £8.36 to £9.18 an hour and the Apprentice Rate increases from £4.30 to £4.81 an hour.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the rise “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”.

But Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Bridget Phillipson, described it as an “underwhelming offer” that would be mostly swallowed up by tax rises, universal credit cuts and higher energy bills.

Campaign group the Living Wage Foundation welcomed the increases, but said there was still “a substantial gap” between the government-mandated minimum wage and its own calculations of a real living wage based on living costs.

The foundation’s director, Graham Griffiths, called on employers to “commit to go beyond this new government minimum, do the right thing, and commit to pay a real living wage”.

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