The minimum wage will be raised beginning in April 2024
Jeremy Hunt has announced the UK’s minimum wage is set to rise by more than £1 beginning in April of next year.
The National Living Wage is currently £10.42 for workers over 23, but the new rate of £11.44 per hour will now apply to 21- and 22-year-olds as well.
The current minimum wage for those aged 21- and 22-year-olds is £10.18 an hour – meaning they’re set to get a big pay rise beginning next year.
Mr Hunt said: ‘Next April all full-time workers on the National Living Wage will get a pay rise of over £1,800 a year.
‘That will end low pay in this country, delivering on our manifesto promise. The National Living Wage has helped halve the number of people on low pay since 2010, making sure work always pays.’
Rates for apprentices will also rise, from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour – a big rise as the Conservative party aims to ‘end low pay’ by lifting the living wage to two-thirds a measure of average earnings.
The changes come as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will unveil his Autumn Statement in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also vowed that taxes will be slashed ‘responsibly’ ahead of the Autumn Statement, to help meet the government’s pledge to halve inflation.
But Mr Hunt is expected to squeeze benefits and cut inheritance tax in the Autumn Statement, it is believed.
Mr Hunt said on Friday that there is a need to ‘reform our welfare system’ while adding that the ‘priority’ for Wednesday’s financial announcement is helping firms.
But he is also considering slashing inheritance tax, which would be likely to draw criticism for supporting the wealthy while others struggle with the high cost of living.
Conservative former chancellor Lord Clarke said the move may please MPs on the Tory right who are clamouring for tax cuts, but others would find it ‘appalling’.
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