UK minimum wage set to increase to £11.44 per hour

Jeremy hunt has announced an increase in the national living wage
Jeremy hunt has announced an increase in the national living wage Copyright Alberto Pezzali/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Greta Ruffino with Agencies
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced that the UK's hourly minimum wage is set to increase to £11.44 per hour, jumping almost 10% from April, marking a significant increase.

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The UK's finance minister Jeremy Hunt has confirmed a substantial increase in the national living wage, raising it to £11.44 (€13.15) per hour from April next year. 

The news follows recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, signifying a notable increase of £1.02 from the current rate of £10.42.

The boost - which the Treasury touts as the largest ever cash increase - equates to an annual rise of £1,800 for those on the lowest income. 

Until now, the national living wage has only applied to Britons aged 23 and older. However, as of next year, the wage will extend its reach to 21 and 22-year-olds, impacting approximately two million individuals.

Not only is the national living wage on the rise, but the minimum wage rate and the lowest legal pay for apprentices are also set for significant increases. 

Those aged 18 to 20 will see their minimum wage climb to at least £8.60 per hour from April, reflecting an increase of £1.11.

Meanwhile, individuals aged 16 and 17, as well as apprentices, will witness their minimum pay rise to £6.40 per hour, marking an increase of £1.12 compared to the previous year.

Celebrating the news, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said the move "aims to end low pay in the country, fulfilling our manifesto promise and continuing the positive impact the national living wage has had since its introduction in 2016."

Laura Trott, the chief secretary to the Treasury, refrained from commenting on whether government measures, such as tax cuts, were influenced by the Tories' standing in the polls, which consistently put them at roughly 20% behind the opposition Labour Party.

Instead, she said that Hunt and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have made challenging decisions in the national interest to combat inflation.

Since its inception in 2016, the national living wage has played a pivotal role in reshaping the wage landscape. The Treasury contends that by elevating the living wage to two-thirds of average earnings, they have successfully reduced the proportion of workers on low hourly pay from 21.3% in 2010 to 8.9% today.

A Treasury spokesperson said: "Supported by increases to the national living wage, the proportion of workers on low hourly pay has more than halved since 2010." 

"Additionally, personal tax thresholds have been doubled, allowing working individuals to earn £1,000 a month tax-free for the first time," the spokesperson added. "This move reaffirms the government's commitment to ensuring that work always pays."

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