Some 2.5 million workers across Scotland and the rest of the UK will receive a pay rise from April 1 as the National Living Wage rates increase comes into force.
During the Autumn Budget statement in October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the rate for people aged 23 and over will go up by 6.6% from £8.91 an hour to £9.50 and means a full-time worker earning the living wage will get a pay rise of around £1,000 per year.
The 6.6% hike is more than twice the Consumer Price Inflation rate (CPI) of 3.1% which will be applied to all benefits and State Pension delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from Monday, April 11.
Ministers said the increase will particularly benefit workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality, cleaning and maintenance.
National Living Wage rates from April 1
The National Living Wage will increase by:
- 23 and over – £9.50 (up 6.6%)
- 21 to 22 – £9.18 (up 9.8%)
- 18 to 20 – £6.83 (up 4.1%)
- 16 to 17 – £4.81 (up by 4.1%)
- Apprenticeships – £4.81 (up by 11.9%)
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We have never been more determined to make work pay, and by providing the biggest cash increase ever to the national living wage we are giving a boost to millions of UK workers.
“While no government can control the global factors pushing up the cost of everyday essentials, we will absolutely act wherever we can to mitigate rising costs.”
The UK Government also announced it will be launching a communications campaign in the coming weeks to help increase understanding among living wage earners around the wages they are legally entitled to, as well as steps they can take if they are concerned they are being underpaid.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This historic increase will mean a pay rise for millions of hard-working Brits, with an average full-time worker pocketing an extra £1,000 a year.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure people keep more of what they earn in these challenging times, with a new Tax Plan that delivers tax cuts for nearly 30 million people as well as £22 billion to help with the cost of living. “
Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “This is the fourth biggest rise in the 23-year history of the minimum wage, though it is unlikely to be enough to keep up with rising prices.
“The UK has one of the most ambitious minimum wages in the world. But as the debacle at P&O ferries has shown, better treatment for low earners doesn’t begin and end with the national living wage.
“Higher wage floors should be supplemented with greater security at work, and proper enforcement of the law that provides a sufficient deterrent to unscrupulous employers.”
Katherine Chapman, director of the Living Wage Foundation, which promotes the higher voluntary real living wage, said: “The rise is welcome news for low paid workers, but it remains significantly lower than a real living wage based on what it actually costs to live.” .”
He added: “Even before the cost of living crisis, millions of workers and families were struggling to stay afloat.
“With bills continuing to rise, many more are now at risk of falling into financial hardship. If we’re to weather this storm we need employers to take action now, step up, and provide a real living wage that meets everyday needs, giving security and stability for both employers and workers.”
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