Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to use his speech to the Tory party conference to confirm an increase in the national living wage (NLW) to at least £11 an hour from April 2024.
The national living wage, presently £10.42 an hour, sets out the lowest amount workers aged 23 and over can be paid per hour by law.
Younger workers under 23 are paid at a lower rate.
The rates are decided each year by the government, based on the advice of an independent advisory group, the Low Pay Commission.
The Conservatives said this meant the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the national living wage would increase by £1,000 next year.
“Since we introduced the national living wage nearly two million people have been lifted from absolute poverty,” Mr Hunt is expected to say.
“That’s the Conservative way of improving the lives of working people. Boosting pay, cutting tax.
“But today, we go further with another great Conservative invention, the national living wage.
“We promised in our manifesto to raise the national living wage to two-thirds of median income – ending low pay in this country.
The Conservatives said the move would benefit two million of the lowest paid, with Mr Hunt also expected to announce that ministers will have another look at the benefit sanctions regime in a bid to get the unemployed back into work.
The Chancellor also sought to lower the expectations of those who are pushing the government to reduce taxes, with Mr Hunt saying: “I believe in lowering taxes but we don’t know whether that’s going to be possible before the next election at the moment.”
He said any tax cuts this year would be inflationary, making it more difficult to achieve Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s promise made in January to halve inflation by the end of the year.
NTIA Comment on National Living Wage Increase Announcement
Following the announcement by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on the increase in National Living Wage to £11.00.
Statement from Michael Kill, CEO of Night Time Industries Association:
“We’re deeply disappointed by the Chancellor’s announcement on the National Living Wage increase, and we see it as a token gesture that’s timed at our industry’s expense. It’s nothing short of a slap in the face for our already struggling businesses.”
“The night-time economy has been battered by the pandemic, with our venues facing closures, restrictions, and crippling financial losses. Now, just as we’re trying to get back on our feet, the Chancellor decides to unload the burden of a wage increase squarely onto the shoulders of operators.”
“This move effectively erodes any positive impact from the current business rates support, and it shows a complete lack of understanding of the night-time sector’s fragile state. While we support fair wages, the timing couldn’t be worse. It’s a cynical attempt to score political points at our expense.”
“We call on the government to engage with us, the Night Time Industries Association, and other stakeholders in our sector. Let’s discuss a more sensible, phased approach to implementing this wage increase. Our industry is struggling to survive, and we need a government that truly understands and supports us.”