UK raises minimum wage to £11.44 per hour, making it one of highest

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer since 2022. — AFP/File

The UK is raising the minimum wage rate to £11.44 per hour from £10.42 per hour — the new minimum wage rate will now apply to 21 and 22-year-olds as well as older workers, as per Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

This implies that a 23-year-old full-time employee on the pay would get an increase of £1,800 annually. The yearly increase for a 21-year-old would be an effective £2,300. This hike makes the minimum wage one of the highest as a share of the average earnings of any advanced economy.

The policy shift precedes Hunt’s Autumn Statement, in which the chancellor will present the government’s most recent spending and tax choices.

Although Hunt stated at the Conservative Party conference in October that the minimum wage will rise over £11 in April, the confirmed increases reflect a 12.4% increase for workers aged 22 and under and a 9.8% increase for those over the age of 23 compared to the previous year.

The minimum wage for those in the 21–22 age range is £10.18 per hour as of right now.

The National Minimum salary for individuals aged 18 to 20 will also experience a boost, going from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour. All things considered, 2.7 million low-paid workers will gain from these above-inflation salary increases.

Additionally, apprentices will receive a wage boost of more than 20%, ranging from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.

The chancellor said that the Conservative goal of “ending low pay” by raising the living wage to two-thirds of a measure of average wages had been achieved. The commission advises the government on minimum wage matters. The ideas from the commission were approved in full.

“The National Living Wage has helped halve the number of people on low pay since 2010, making sure work always pays,” Hunt said.

But some in the sector are worried about the decision. Retail and restaurant firms expressed concerns about rising labour expenditures following a similar increase in wages last year.

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